Various Artists

Nashpop: A Nashville Pop Compilation

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First, know that the visionary Colorado label Not Lame is a smart, inauspicious powder keg, dutifully and unobtrusively releasing sparks of power pop greatness. And now, in spite of the geography, know that Nashpop corrals not contemporary country, but pure pop: a colossal collection concentrating on the overlooked and unexpected Tennessee strain of this dense cult phenomenon. Bill Lloyd and Who Hit John get two entries. The tricky Shazam strikes like lightning and deserves full-album attention. Rare closer "Everyday Is Christmas" is supergroup Swag's holly-jolly Wizzard rewrite, a chestnut carol that nails all the fireside warmth of the hidden genre of jangle pop. Judging by their two girl's-name (a power pop staple) numbers included here, Idle Jets just may be one of the best acts around. One au fait gripe against anglo rock bemoans the guitar crunch of the Who being left behind for the wistful remorse of the Gin Blossoms. But Nashpop, a meaningless and modest au courant memoir, catches all the beauty of crisp '70s AM radio, when singers actually sang and a simple but elegant song about a dream child named "Penelope Wild" could make one reel and "Feel."

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