Risk-taking is such a rare thing in the contemporary music scene, that when it does happen it hits us like a lightning bolt!
Go to School, the sophomore effort of The Lemon Twigs (aka brothers Brian and Michael D’Addario), is a concept album, presented as musical theatre!
Not a potentially fatal career move if this were the Seventies but in today’s gimmicky pop environment? One certainly has to admire the balls on these two young gents.
But of course, good intentions alone does not great music make and fortunately, Los Bros D’Addario also possess the chops to deliver one of the pop-rock albums of the decade!
Go to School tells the heartbreaking coming-of-age story of Shane, a pure of heart chimpanzee raised as a human boy as he comes to terms with the obstacles of life.
Think of The Who’s Tommy as a rock music precedent as The Lemon Twigs skilfully put together a 15-song cycle – written, recorded, produced and mixed by the pair at their home in Long Island – that are obviously inspired by their favourite 70s pop-rock music.
Certainly, the influence of Todd Rundgren is discernible here and it makes sense that Rundgren makes a guest appearance, singing on “Rock Dreams” and “The Fire”, dueting with the brothers’ own mother, Susan Hall.
The album also features contributions from Jody Stephens (Big Star) and father Ronnie D’Addario. But these facts come across as ephemeral trivia when faced by the singular achievement that Go to School is for The Lemon Twigs.
Listening to this in its entirety is an essential component of its allure and one realises very quickly that Go to School was created for no audience other than its creators alone.
That very idea is such an illumination in the darkness of ugly modern pop music that promotes cynicism over beauty – Go to School is one of a kind, truly unique that those of us ‘in the know’ need to celebrate its existence, shout it out from the highest mountains and simply enjoy its myriad delights.
… still there’s more …