Spinning Jennies

Stratosphere

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    9
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Spinning Jennies don't just rock harder with each new album -- they rock much tighter and write even more propulsive hooks. On Stratosphere, their fifth outing, they don't so much tinker with the formula as expand it -- after all, Peer Pressure was pretty damn good as it was -- and make things more rock & roll than power pop. Here's where they truly kick out the jams, charging out of the gate with the Marshall-exploding "So Far So Good" and barely relenting over the course of 11 cuts. Everything on Stratosphere burns with charging, arena-ready panache, and rather than recalling hallmarks of pop like the Posies or Teenage Fanclub -- as their old albums did -- they now more readily recall the hooky side of AC/DC and '80s power combos. And that's meant in a very, very good way since Spinning Jennies don't sacrifice any of their old hooks -- they even include a cover of the Three O'Clock's paisley pop obscurity"Jetfighter" as proof that their California pop roots remain intact, even if Stratosphere is very much the work of a rock band. Too many late-'90s/early-2000s power pop bands forgot the dirt and noise that was once the hallmark of the genre, but Spinning Jennies haven't, and as a result they recorded their best album yet.

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