The Hit Parade

More Pop Songs

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A CD collection of early singles by the London trio the Hit Parade, More Pop Songs straddles the line between Sarah-style indie guitar jangle (Amelia Fletcher of future Sarah stars Heavenly sings lead on one of two versions of the unabashedly sentimental "Christmas Tears") and the sort of dancefloor-friendly electro-pop that St. Etienne would soon make fashionable again. So, although singer/guitarist Julian Henry wrote all the songs, the album is really a skirmish between his guitar and producer Raymond Watts' keyboards and sequencers. It's pretty much a draw. The best songs are the more upbeat tracks, like the bouncy "In the Hit Parade" and the glorious, wistful "The Beatles in 1963." When Henry gets mopey, as on the self-explanatory "What Did You Love Me For?" and "It Doesn't Matter Now," it all gets a little precious. There are times when that works, as on the aforementioned "Christmas Tears," but about a third of this 14-track collection is a bit wet.

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