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Justin Levinson - 1175 Boylston

1175 Boylston

Justin Levinson

Available from CD Baby.

A review written for the Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange
by Frank Gutch Jr.
(frank.gutch.jr@gmail.com)

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My apologies to Justin Levinson and Adam Popick. I listened hard and tried to get it, but everything was muffled. Then I realized my head was firmly lodged between my cheeks. Man, I love pop, power or otherwise, so why 1175 Boylston didn't immediately lodge itself in my head I have no idea, but somehow it didn't. The guy who turned me onto it rarely misses, though, and I stuck it out, and a couple of days ago I got it. 1175 Boylston hasn't been off the CD player since.

Levinson obviously locked himself in a closet of late sixties Brit pop before recording this, telling Popick not to let him out until he got it because Brit pop is all over this disc. Throw in a little early Matthew Sweet and maybe a dash of Bill Quateman from his classic Columbia album and maybe a few bags of the lighter side of that poppy Liverpool Sound we've been hearing for, oh, these fifty years and you have the Boylston Bop. A little more piano-driven than some might like, it works very well with the treatments laid down here.

Take, for instance, Empty Line Cliché, as good a light pop song as has been recorded recently and with smoothly produced harmonies to make the pop heart jubilant. Track back to the late sixties, time of one-hit AM radio, put Sunny Day on the playlist and it would have been a smash. Light, upbeat, poppy. Of course, these words are perfect description for most of the tracks here.

Levinson outdoes even himself, though, toward the end of the CD. If You Get Lost, City With Two Street Lights and Fireflies are as good a pop trifecta as I've heard in some time. Melodic, catchy, rhythmic and lyrically perfect, they have what the pop fans love. They are major league in every respect. I probably play these three ten times for every play on the others, but that doesn't mean the others aren't good. It means that these three are so good that they gain instant replay status in my head and I look forward to the times they will inadvertently pop into my head. I'm sure no matter what kind of day I will be having, my head will raise and a voice inside me will say, "It is a good day when I hear Levinson." I'm sure from that point on, it will be.

Track List:

  • Sunny Day (Justin Levinson & Adam Popick)
  • Empty Line Cliché (Levinson)
  • All I Ever Wanted (Levinson)
  • Sophie (Levinson)
  • The Sky Is Falling (Levinson)
  • Sleepwalking (Levinson & Zach Donohue)
  • Andria (Levinson)
  • If You Get Lost (Levinson)
  • City With Two Street Lights (Levinson & Popick)
  • Fireflies (Levinson)
  • Nice To See You Guys (Levinson)
All songs © 2005/Justin Levinson.

Edited by: David N. Pyles
(dnpyles@acousticmusic.com)

Copyright 2008, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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