Another deluxe, gatefold package from France's Pop the Balloon, "Real Friend" was the debut solo 7" from the terribly undervalued Dom Mariani, frontman for Australia's sensational the Stems and DM3, and it is a real winner. "Real Friend" is built on country-rock pacing, but the melody and hook are pure power pop explosions, and the harmonies float on air. Mariani's voice recalls Emitt Rhodes on the B-side, "Jenny," a track that is more loping and bottom-heavy, with a great bubblegum organ popping up midway through, then giving way to a hot, bluesy guitar solo. Both are gems, with plenty to chew on.
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AllMusic Review by Stanton Swihart