Million Dollar Movie

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A five-song EP that was five years in the making, Andrew's debut is a gem of Left Banke/Zombies-influenced chamber pop that's over much too fast. Andrew is Andrew Sandoval, a walking encyclopedia of '60s musical trivia who first became known as a music historian and reissue producer. (The exemplary mid-'90s series of Monkees reissue discs were overseen by Sandoval.) These songs are crisply recorded pop with just-so production touches, like the tambourine that drives the Byrdsy opener "The Man Who Would Be King" and the gossamer harmonies and gently psychedelic string section of "Dream About You." Not all of the songs are up to the quality of the arrangements; "Here, Hear" lacks a strong melody to go with its clever lyrics, and the Bee Gees obscurity "Nobody's Someone" only proves that some songs are obscure for a reason, though Roger Neill's orchestration keeps that song from being a wash. But when Sandoval's writing skills match with his exquisite sense of arrangement, as on the sublime "What Do You See In Me," Million Dollar Movie is a delightful slice of orchestral pop that's more than the sum of its influences. Members of the Negro Problem, the Last, and the dB's guest, as do Los Angeles pop mavens Jon Brion and Robbie Rist.

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