Astropop 3

Eclipsing Binary Star

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On their second full-length album, Astropop 3 has painted a picture of sadness and happiness intertwined. The band has been through various lineup changes during the years, but the lineup for this disc (Dan Villanueva on guitar and vocals, Keith Vannetta on bass, Wendell Nichols on drums, and Angelique Everett on vocals) has produced favorable results. The CD begins with the album's longest song title, "The Courage to Be Great Lies in Every One of Us." The song is composed of a simple series of guitar strums, with Villanueva's haunting vocals overlapping. The second track, "Lost in a Dream," instantly brightens the mood, complete with handclaps and an upbeat melody. On "No Time for Me" and "Light Years Away," Villanueva and Everett trade vocal duties back and forth, allowing for both singers to shine. Everett gets a chance to shine on her own on "So..." and "I Think You Should Know," displaying her own lead vocal talents in a sweet, serene style. On the album closer, "Now and Always," Villanueva returns, acoustic guitar in hand, to calmly close the door on the disc with one more somber series of anecdotes to the listener. The songs are all short, and as a result, none of them are overbearing. As a whole, the 12 songs on the album are a solid effort, with a few diamonds in the rough. In the end, the band's power pop stylings are adequately featured on this album, clearly the strongest of their career.

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