The Murmaids

Popsicles and Icicles

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This 13-song CD reveals a wider range than the Murmaids' status as one-hit wonders would lead one to expect. The title tune, driven by a softly strummed rhythm guitar behind the gentle, ethereal singing of the trio, is a quintessential piece of early-'60s pop/rock, not as striking as "To Know Him Is to Love Him" but still memorable. The '40s pop standard, "Playmates" (covered by Sandy Stewart in Go Johnny Go) turns up as a bouncy pop/jazz style number, the trio backed by piano, bass, and drums. "You Cheated" is pretty, if routine, girl group fare, but the version of "Mr. Sandman" has an upbeat feel with a certain touch of earthiness. "Alone" is a throwback to doo wop sounds, complete with a "yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah" chorus and a very busy rhythm section, with the Murmaids trying hard emulate the Marcels' "Blue Moon." "Don't Forget" seems to have been producer Kim Fowley's attempt to mimic the Crystals, complete with an anthem-like chorus, a driving beat, and a pseudo-Spector backing band. The coming of age love song "So Young" shows more healthy lust than much of the trio's other repertory. The outstanding track, however, is "Wild and Wonderful," a soaring ballad with a ravishing array of hooks, a gorgeous organ and guitar arrangement, and a haunting fade-out. And anyone who wants more songs like "Popsicles and Icicles" will find them in "Heartbreak Ahead" and "Three Little Words." Strangely enough, one of their big hit's two B-sides, "Blue Dress," is present, but not the other, "Huntington Flats."

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