The Mike Flowers Pops

A Groovy Place

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One part saccharine hyperbole, the other part subtle satire, Mr. Flowers is a Spinal Tap for the lounge set. I keep waiting, with each spin, for "A Groovy Place" to become a tired, one-play Weird Al novelty, but somehow its cheery, deadpan edge keeps it fresh as repeat-play background music. More obvious covers like "The In Crowd" and "Please Release Me" don't quite prepare you for cool, hilariously swingin' takes on Prince's "1999," the Doors' "Light My Fire" (on second, thought, there always was somewhat of an overwrought lounge undercurrent to that one) and a Velvet Underground medley laying the Vegas-lite treatment on "All Tomorrow's Parties," "Venus in Furs," and "White Light White Heat." Most endearing of all is the nerdy revision of the hit Oasis single "Wonderwall" (inexplicably mirroring the original's chart success in England). Camp originals include the title track ("A groovy place where we can sing and dance, enjoy an evening meal/Where you can be yourself and do just what you feel/Oh baby take my hand 'cause life can be unreal") and "Crusty Girl" ("I never thought that I would fall in love with a crusty girl like you/Living together in a little treehouse big enough for two"). This "groovy place" treehouse is home to light melodrama, bad hair-pieces, politely-twanged guitar, cheap strings, horns, organ and Latin percussion and, of course, the cheesiest backing vocals imaginable courtesy of the Sounds Superb Singers. More than a hip joke, the Mike Flowers Pops mixes the driest martini you're likely to experience all year.

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