Myracle Brah

Can You Hear the Myracle Brah?

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Since releasing his first record under the Myracle Brah moniker in 1998, Andy Bopp has firmly established himself as one of the finest talents in the contemporary pop underground, writing great songs and playing them with skill, passion, and a keen understanding of what makes this stuff work. Like most of his previous Myracle Brah albums, Bopp played and sang everything on Can You Hear the Myracle Brah? except for drums (by Greg Schroeder) and some backing vocals (from Chad Hopkins and Caitlin Bopp), and no one since Richard X. Heyman has managed the neat trick of making an overdubbed one-man band sound this natural and rock this forcefully. While too many acts who trade on power pop traditions sound too fey for their own good, Bopp understands that the Raspberries, Badfinger, and Big Star were rock & roll bands who could move the crowd, and he has no fear of cranking up the volume (and the tempo), and "Walking on Water," "Trans Sister," and "Big Kids Wanna Rock" draw a healthy sweat, with Bopp letting loose with some fine, raucous guitar solos (especially on "Run to the Voices"). Not every track on Can You Hear the Myracle Brah? brings the rock, but there's a commendable emotional force to nearly every track on this album, and Bopp doesn't mind letting anger and anxiety share the stage with the usual pure pop themes of love (good) and love (bad). Can You Hear the Myracle Brah? doesn't advance Bopp's formula much beyond what he's done with Myracle Brah's previous work, but given how good the material is, it sounds more like he's continuing to make great records within his chosen style than treading creative water; this is smart, edgy pop/rock that's tough enough to interest people outside the cult of latter-day power pop obsessives.

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