From 2003, a review of The Beatifics’ excellent album, The Way We Never Were, taken from the previous incarnation of Power of Pop (at tripod.com, no less!)
The Way We Never Were
I’ve always loved 60s/70s styled melodic guitar pop. To me, there’s nothing that comes close musically.
Back in 1998, a email correspondent and one of my all-time favourite comic book writers Mike (Nexus) Baron introduced me to the wonderful world of the power pop underground and one of the names he recommended to me was the Beatifics.
Now, Singapore isn’t power pop central by any stretch of the imagination but in the late 90s, we did have quite an enviable range of import CDs at pretty reasonable prices.
So, lo and behold, I actually did discover the Beatifics’ debut How I Learned To Stop Worrying (released in 1997) and picked it up with little hesitation and it quickly became a benchmark to what I required in my power pop diet – memorable songs like “Almost Something There,” “Something/Anything,” “This Year’s Jessica” & “Happy to be Sad” established singer-songwriter Chris Dorn’s credentials as a pop artist of note.
Sadly, for power pop fans, it has taken the Beatifics (now basically Dorn and friends) almost six years to deliver its sophomore effort with The Way We Never Were.
But therein lies the good news – this album is definitely worth the wait!
The quintessential power pop blast of “Sorry Yesterday” defines the Beatific approach unequivocally with chiming tones (reminiscent of Andy Bopp’s Myracle Brah, one must point out) and Dorn’s lovelorn vocal delivery. “After All” and “Different Stars” sound like they could have been outtakes from #1 Record, expressing as they do the Chris Bell/Alex Chilton chemistry uncannily, with “February” and “The Only One” Dorn communicates John Lennon channelled through Liam Gallagher and “In the Meantime” is prime guitar pop power.
Whichever you look at it, The Way We Never Were is indispensable for power pop fans and anyone who enjoys melodic guitar rock. A
… still there’s more …