After their stunning single “Henry Rollins Don’t Dance” on WeePOP! and their series of fantastic 7”s on Fortuna Pop, Allo Darlin’s full-length album quickly became one of my most anticipated releases for 2010 and after months of waiting, it’s finally here!
Sometimes you spend so long waiting for something that you begin to worry that there’s no possible way for it to live up to your expectations & I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about that happening with this album. GOOD NEWS: I can say without reservation that that is totally not the case here. I love this album! Perhaps even more than I initially thought I would! It’s only ten songs long, but each song is a perfect pop gem. Honestly, my least favorite song on the album (“Heartbeat Chili”) is still a good song & the best songs on the album are just brilliant.
I can’t get over how strong the first four songs are — “Dreaming” & “The Polaroid Song” were both previously released as the a-sides of 7”s on Fortuna Pop, but hold their own on the album & still sound fresh months after their initial releases. The next two songs “Silver Dollars” and “Kiss Your Lips” are peak moments in the album for me — I love the push and pull of “Silver Dollars,” there’s a great forward pop momentum balanced by softer/quieter moments. “Woody Allen,” “Let’s Go Swimming,” and “My Heart is a Drummer” are also winning tracks. Normally I’m not one for slow songs (I’m just not that patient/attentive), but “Let’s Go Swimming” is stunning. “Woody Allen” could have been unfortunately trite if almost anyone else had recorded it, but here it’s sweet and sincere (I love the descriptor of things getting so bad that they become “Bergman bad.”)
One of the many reviews collected by Fortuna Pop compares this album to Jonathan Richman, a comparison I never would have though to make, but now I can’t believe I didn’t see the connection. The songs here are on par with some of Jonathan’s best when it comes to precision-details & sweet sincerity & and hearts-on-sleeves openness. I’d love to hear their take on a song like “Parties in the U.S.A.” or “Back in Your Life.” Likewise, I bet Jonathan could tear up “Kiss Your Lips” or “My Heart is a Drummer.”