One of the key albums of the early days of the '90s power pop renaissance, the Blow Pops' 1993 debut is one of those rare contemporary power pop records that both salutes its '60s and '70s influences and delivers the songs with a crisp freshness that makes it sound like more than another attempt to be the next Raspberries. Plasticland's John Frankovic produced the album with little of the over-the-top mannerisms of his own band (though he does sneak a little lysergic glitter onto a few tracks), keeping the songs front and center. Those songs, by either Mike Jarvis or Tim Buckley, are uniformly sparkling, with catchy guitar riffs, singalong choruses, and the sort of clever arrangements that reveal new facets on repeated listens. The opening "Wake up Mary" is the most immediately catchy tune, but the album's real highlight is the closing "Under the Big Top," a knowing nod to the age of "A Quick One While He's Away" and "Excerpt From a Teenage Opera." The Blow Pops connect four songs into a perfect little miniature rock opera, with sound effects and clever links and interludes. It's a commendable bit of experimentation and easily the most fun tune on the whole album. Charmed, I'm Sure (the title is a wink at Charms candy, makers of the bubblegum-filled lollipops known as Blow Pops) can be difficult to find, but it's well worth the search. allmusic.com
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