The new album from Bird Streets, out Friday on Omnivore Recordings, is the sort of power-pop stunner that makes you sorta want to run out and tell all your friends about it once you've played it for the first time. And, if I was a betting man, I'd say that those friends were, like me, probably huge fans of Jason Falkner. And that's significant since the one-time Jellyfish member joins John Brodeur here on Bird Streets, with the result being an album's worth of really wonderful music from this new (yet seasoned) duo.
Big single "Betting on the Sun" has a huge hook, the sort of thing Falkner used to reach for routinely, even as it's wrapped up in a melody that Joe Pernice would kill for, while the spry "Thanks for Calling" suggests a lost Wilbury number. Elsewhere, the down-tempo "Direction" sees Brodeur channel his inner Jackson Browne for an offering that floats past on easy, unhurried charm, while the epic "Stop To Breathe" is a Lynne-style melody that also echoes early ballads from Cheap Trick. The material here reveals Brodeur as some sort of genius as lots and lots of Bird Streets pleases like the kind of stuff that Jon Brion and Bleu once put out, with a listener left to just wonder where this Brodeur guy's been all this time? And to review Brodeur's efforts on Bird Streets by dropping those names would seem unseemly were it not for the presence of Jason Falkner here. Jason's work sits well with John's comfortable vocals, such that stuff like "Until the Crown" seems a bit more distinctive than it would have in other hands. These two musicians have put a lot into this record and it's safe to say that there's little dross on Bird Streets, as even slighter numbers like "Heal" or "Bullets" feel at least as good as, say, Tom Petty's Eighties hits.
Bird Streets is out on Friday via Omnivore Recordings. It is, clearly, this week's most listenable release, and one that is sure to surprise a lot of folks who weren't looking for this sort of album to drop in the dog-days of August.
More details on Bird Streets via the band's official website.
[Photo: David Doobinin]