Joe Algeri

The Stockholm Years

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Australian pop auteur Joe Algeri (of Jack and the Bandstalk and the Stonemasons) recorded most of these 13 songs during a sojourn in Sweden between 2002 and 2003; some are studio takes with a full band and other solo home demos featuring Algeri all by his lonesome. The tone of this collection is reminiscent of the recent solo work of ex-Windbreakers guitarist Bobby Sutliff -- sparkling pure pop with chiming guitars and a subtle but clear country accent -- and like Sutliff, Algeri's songs are sweet without becoming sugary and deeply satisfying, with just a touch of heartache bubbling under the surface. Algeri also has a fine way with other people's songs, as his Gene Clark and Lee Hazlewood covers make clear, and while the production on most of these tracks is simple, he knows how to make the most of his circumstances, with the lush British Invasion overtones of "London Girl" just as effective as the spare acoustic surface of "Four Summers." The Stockholm Years is an album short on frills but long on great songs and memorable hooks, and anyone who loves power pop in the classic style will be happy to know that Joe Algeri's stay in Sweden served his muse quite well.

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