Mark Bacino

Pop Job...The Long Player!

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An expanded version of a 1997 four-track EP, 1998's Pop Job: The Long Player is an 11-song blast of bubblegummy power pop in the Raspberries/Hudson Brothers tradition. As the anthemic statement of intent "Sugary" attests, Mark Bacino loads his songs with handclaps, tambourines, organ, "sha-la-la" backing vocals, and all the other tropes of post-Beatles power pop. Unlike a lot of artists in the style, however, Bacino doesn't rely on the signifiers to the exclusion of writing songs that would stand up on their own. Though Bacino's gruff voice doesn't always match the sugar-sweet arrangements, his songs are sturdily melodic enough to stick in the listener's head. Similarly, his lyrics aren't exactly inspired poesy, but they don't cause involuntary eye-rolling, either. The rocking "Keep Me Awake" and the deliriously upbeat "Diggin' That Girl" are among the highlights, but the hidden bonus track, an old home tape of a pre-pubescent Bacino singing a snatch of "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" is a charming coda underscoring the lack of pretension found here.

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