Title Tracks

Long Dream

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In the early 2010s, Title Tracks made a couple of excellent modern power pop albums. The first, 2010's It Was Easy, was a studio concoction that featured main Track John Davis doing everything; 2011's In Blank had members of the live band contributing, which resulted in a scruffier, more live-sounding record. Both were jammed with hooky tracks that melded the sugary melodies of power pop with the intensity of classic New Wave and punk. After taking a long break, the band returned in 2016 with a record that picked up right where In Blank left off. Long Dream features Davis on vocals and guitar, with bassist Michael Cotterman and drummer Elmer Sharp providing support. The record kicks off with the tough and spunky "Low Cool," letting the listener know right away what they're in for. Chiming guitar riffs, a whipsmart rhythm section, Davis' pleasantly yearning vocals, and a warmly layered production that splits the difference between the studio savvy of the first Title Tracks album and the scruffiness of the second. Most of the album is made up of these energetic, jumpy rockers. Songs like "I Don't Need to Know" and "Not Enough Too Soon" jump and twitch like rambunctious, skinny-tied new wave kids at their first high school dance, each with enough power in their taut grooves to keep the party going until way past curfew. Mixed in are some midtempo jangle pop gems (the Dwight Twilley-esque "Don't Start," "Peaceful Uses") and a couple of quiet ballads that show off Davis' skill as a crooner of sad songs. The albums flows between them like a perfectly curated playlist, never faltering or hitting a patch of filler. The first two Title Tracks records were really good, and Long Dream is just a step better. The songs are tighter, the performances a little brighter, and Davis sounds more assured as a vocalist. It's modern power pop that balances the power and pop perfectly.

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