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I frequently use MOKB to champion varieties of music that may be best described as challenging, avant-garde or, if you’re my ladyfriend, annoying. Sure, I like music that makes you work a little, but there are times that even I opt for three minutes of pop bliss. Rinse and repeat. Nathaniel Hawthorne once said, “Easy reading is damn hard writing,” and I like to think the same is true of creating great pop music; deceptively simply, yet impossible to decipher or shake. Many of the finest purveyors of pure pop remain largely unknown, and I don’t think that’s an accident. It’s almost as if these pop savants experience divinitus inspirata in the form of three chords and a hook, but don’t have the ability to pay their phone bill, much less navigate the music industry. Subsequently, for every Nick Lowe, you have a Tommy Keene and a Peter Case and a Dwight Twilley and a Marshall Crenshaw and a Paul Collins.
Paul Collins put his shoulder to the pop plow with under-appreciated bands like The Nerves (along with the aforementioned Case), The Breakaways (again, with Case) and The Beat. I’d say he’s back, but like so many of his peers, he’s never really gone away, we just stopped noticing. So, Collins has taken it upon himself to reclaim the throne with the release of King Of Power Pop! Produced and engineered in Detroit by master knobtwister Jim Diamond (Dirtbombs, White Stripes), these thirteen rapid-fire pop concoctions barely allow the listener to catch a breath before Collins is off and running again. Nothing fancy, mind you, just a hook and a prayer. King Of Power Pop! will do the trick, whether you’re cleaning the garage, driving the neighborhood kids to soccer or shaking yer moneymaker in hopes of wooing a new mate. The record also boasts appearances from Wally Palmar (whom you know, but whose band I won’t name for fear of getting that song stuck in your head) as well as the legendary and lovely Nikki Corvette. Let’s see you shake this one.