Kleenex Girl Wonder


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Graham Smith is one of Chicago's prized resources, as far as indie-pop goes -- under the name Kleenex Girl Wonder, he single-handedly writes, performs, and records some pretty wonderful pop. While some of the attention paid to Kleenex Girl Wonder is probably a result of Smith's young age and DIY attitude (his name is the only one to appear on the album -- such is the extent of his involvement), his songs are exceptionally deserving on their own -- there's nothing particularly innovative about his '60s-inspired pop, the songwriting is as catchy as anything to come along in quite a while ("Now I Got a Feeling," for example.) Even when he's just running along power chords and tossing out quick melodies, Smith's songs are little short of brilliant -- right up there with early Beatles or Monkees tunes in terms of sheer pop appeal. And of course, Smith's indie-pop situation is rather charming -- anyone who can create an album on his own and then title a song "Graham Smith Is the Strongest Man Alive" deserves some credit.

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