Past the future

If you remember the 90s, there were lots of “indie” bands that combined solid songwriting, a heavy hand on the production knob and just enough pop sensibility to get airplay. "Closing Time" (Semisonic) is one of the most enduring of those efforts, but I could go through a list of hundreds of artists who tasted some sort of fame following the same formula.

King Washington
(The End Records)

King Washington combines easy-going roots (they reference CSN as an influence), anthemically-produced, pop-crafted songs and lyrics that don't insult the listener (and sometimes are much more insightful than that). The ringing, gorgeous sounds on this album are almost intoxicating.

Yes, this is aimed at a pop audience. King Washington makes no bones about its aspirations. And this isn't "power pop" or some other indie euphemism for stuff that isn't really mainstream. No. King Washington is after the brass ring. I'm all for it.

With a lot of luck and even more hard work, this might be the album to get the boys there. The songs are catchy, and the sound is wonderful. Then again, the depth here so outshines most of the stuff on my boys' playlists I have to wonder if it is simply too good. Meh. I'm ever the optimist. The masses aren't stupid. They just need to hear the good stuff. And if nothing else, this is definitely the good stuff.

Jon Worley

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