Two of the absolute best pure pop records from 2010 have been by ex-teeny bop princes Hanson, and little known Queens native Mark Bacino. The former, a hit at Bamboozle, continues to churn out spectacular under-appreciated albums such as Shout It Out while the latter has casually scattered a mere three recordings over a dozen years. Inexorably, both Hanson and Bacino identify with many post-Beatles ‘70s-related pop elements such as bright melodic hooks, urgent harmonic pleas, capricious piano strolls and raspy brass bursts.
Though it’s hard to choose Bacino’s latest endeavor over the “Mm-Bop”-propelled brotherly trio, the St. John’s University grad’s melancholy love letter to New York City, Queens English, surely ranks high. An uncompromisingly straight-ahead conventionality, better suited for ‘70s singer-songwriter types than today’s emotional hardcore brats, affirmatively affects his rhapsodic Big Apple paeans and evocatively reflective limericks.
The band Hanson started out as teenage heartthrobs thanks to number one single, “Mm-Bop.” But their latest work is perfectly maturated horn-infested pop that’s straight down the middle. Your music also has a worthy centrist mode. Do you feel cheated by today’s compromised commercial radio play-lists that narrow everything down to the lowest common denominator?
With every record I’ve done, I’ve heard that. ‘If you did this in 1973 you’d be on the radio and TV.’ I cannot even get Fordham University’s WFUV to play my records. They’ve totally shut me out. My music’s not 100% rootsy, but I feel it’d fit.