Broken Hearts

Want One?

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In 1985, a number of years before Mike Mazzarella started The Rooks, he formed a nice little power pop unit called the Broken Hearts. Along with guitarist Tom Bittel, bassist Jamie Beckett, and drummer Pat Yourell, this spunky quartet recorded Want One? in December/January '84/85 and released it--as was then the fashion--on vinyl. Reissued on Paisley Pop in 2003 on CD, the original nine songs have been augmented with 11 extras. Perhaps the first thing that calls attention to itself on Want One? is how non-pretentious and fun these songs are. Pieces like "You Won't Find Me" and "Play That Song Again" will remind the listener of the best of '60s pop, bouncing happily along for two or three minutes to the jangle of electric guitars, a steady backbeat, and an ever-present bass. The odds and ends that make up the extras help to fill the album out a bit. The energy level--raw and hyped up--on songs like "Circle of Fools" and "How About That" burns even brighter than the studio cuts. There's also a longer version--a prototype--of "Just Love Ya'" that includes an extended, surreal jam in the middle. The last two tracks ("Not Really in Love" and "Fool for Love") were recorded in 1986 and steer, interestingly enough, toward country-rock. Want One? provides a nice portrait of four young men finding their muse, and will be of interest to Rooks' fans and anyone who loves good, energetic pop music.

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