When listening to "Lonely St." the first impression that I get is that at the heart of this it is a pop album in the sense that it is accessible to everyone through certain songs. Now, why this becomes such a revelation to me in some ways is that I came to the conclusion while listening to this that what I know about pop music is based upon what I've heard second hand. I don't really listen to the radio and I suppose MTV isn't really a channel anymore, so when I'm exposed to a song which is "mainstream" it's usually because of a movie or someone else plays it-- maybe I hear it in a store.
I've grown somewhat fascinated with this concept because you can say this music sounds like someone else but that person might be someone that I've only heard one or two songs from and I've never actually listened to an entire album of their music. This whole point really strikes that chord home for me with the Bobbie Morrone song "Jam" because through these organ keys comes an instrumental song that makes me wonder do other artists, like a Bruno Mars for example, have an instrumental song on their album. Though I'm leaning more towards no, I'm just pleased that the question came into my mind.
A little bit of Ben Folds, a little Jack Johnson, some of these songs could be on the "Guardians of the Galaxy" soundtrack. There is some soul within this pop and also at times it can bring about the blues. Though, the way it displays these blues are mostly through the music itself as the songs take on a much more upbeat approach lyrically. That was one of the bigger things that struck me about this album as well-- not until the final song do we actually feel lonely and it is that titular track but isn't it strange we don't feel that acoustic loneliness before then?
"Walk Away" has the distinct sound of a radio hit but also a killer guitar riff while "Simple Things" is just too smooth. One of the key things "Lonely St." did for me was change the way that I think about pop music. Obviously, when I was younger I would hear a song on the radio that I enjoyed and buy an entire cassette based upon that. In my more recent years, I would borrow a CD from the library to listen to or even stream an album online but I can't tell you the last time I did that. It's been years since I've heard what would be considered a pop album that is also "mainstream" in full.
With the way music is accessible now though, I think pop music doesn't have to be exclusive to the radio anymore. I think the ideas of what pop music is have changed because it's more about the sound than the fact that the artists are playing in malls. We should begin to hold pop music to a higher standard and as I've only heard a handful of songs at most from what many perceive to be pop artists in the mainstream, I shall now use Bobbie Morrone as a measuring stick for future pop/blues/soul sounds because of how undoubtedly remarkable this album is.
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