Kepi Ghoulie

Lost and Lovin' It!

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Listening to Kepi Ghoulie's eighth album, Lost and Lovin' It!, is like taking a tour through the lovably earnest musician's back catalog. Best known for his years fronting the pop-punk Groovie Ghoulies, Kepi also had an Americana group called the Haints, and his solo albums have rambled from acoustic tunes to songs for kids, from uptempo poppy punk to jangling folk-rock. All those styles can be found on the album, all delivered in Kepi's relaxed style and filled with the open-hearted philosophy that makes him such a beloved figure to his fans. The heart and love pour out of Kepi like a bright light that never dims, filling songs like "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Youtopia" with a peaceful, meaningful richness one doesn't usually find in music this poppy. Despite his seeming devotion to being something of a beatific figure, Kepi never shirks his duty to deliver hooky songs. Whether they are sharp blasts of punk ("Lone Wolf"), rollicking indie pop love songs ("The Anchor Song"), choogling glam blues ("Inkpot"), or supercharged beach punk ("White Whale"), everything on the album hits the singalong sweet spot his work always has. Though it touches on many sounds and styles, Lost and Lovin' It! holds together well thanks to the warm heart beating away at the center. It's Kepi's best solo album yet, showing that whether he's stuck in the middle of a hoedown ("It's a Wonderful Life"), waltzing the night away ("To Court and to Woo"), or trying something new (like on the restrained indie rock ballad "Pushing and Pulling"), he's always on top of his game. It doesn't matter if you've been a Ghoulies fans since the late '80s or have never heard of him before; if you like sweet, catchy songs sung by a real live human with a heart as big as an ocean, Lost and Lovin' It! is definitely worth checking out.

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