Paul Collins
King of Power Pop!

Release Date: August 24, 2010
Produced by: N/A
Format: CD



Adam Jahnke


In his liner notes for his newest album, Paul Collins describes King of Power Pop! as “the record that connects the dots, from The Nerves to The Breakaways to The Beat to today”.  This may be one of the most accurate assessments I’ve ever read an artist make of his own work.  The record has a distinctly nostalgic feel in the best possible way, sounding both fresh and familiar at the same time.  On the first listen, you almost feel as if you’ve heard these songs before.  This isn’t a criticism of Collins’ originality.  It’s a tribute to his ability to craft solid, punchy, thoroughly enjoyable rock and roll.

The record kicks off with the 50s-style rave-up “C’mon Let’s Go!” and that song sets the stage for what’s to come.  Bright, crisp guitar work blended with Jim Diamond’s smooth bass lines and Dave Shettler’s driving drums.  Collins’ power pop influences are front and center throughout.  “Hurting’s On My Side” and “Many Roads To Follow” sound like early Lennon-McCartney compositions that wouldn’t have been out of place on Beatles For Sale.  Other songs, like “Off The Hook” and “Don’t Blame Your Troubles On Me”, could have been tucked into the back catalogs of The Kinks and The Byrds.  But there’s more to the album than retro 60s throwbacks.  “This Is America”, one of the strongest songs of the album, is a passionate, no-holds-barred snarler that sounds like nobody other than Paul Collins. 

Collins offers up two strong covers, “The Letter” and “You Tore Me Down”, that would have been highlights of the record if the surrounding original material wasn’t so strong.  “The Letter” in particular is one of those perfect pop songs that seems to be virtually impossible to screw up and Collins delivers a masterful rendition of it here.  As it stands, the songs are merely welcome bonuses.  King of Power Pop! is a fun, fast-moving record and a welcome return for an artist who has long deserved to break out of cult status.









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212 Frech

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