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Album Review

JARED LEKITES
Looking For a Diamond

Jared Lekites has been drinking pop--- most specifically, Brit Pop from the sixties with a splash of ELO thrown in for good measure. It took me all of ten seconds to hear vocals reminiscent of both Badfinger and Marmalade in the kickoff tune off of his new EP, Looking For Diamonds. Love That Lasts is not at all a bad way to start any album, as far as I'm concerned. It takes balls to go up against the tried and true and those two bands are two of the triedest and truest, though Americans have yet to catch up to the Brits when it comes to the vastly underrated Marmalade. Badfinger, though? While most people on the street could barely identify the band, when you play their “hits” they know who they are, though they couldn't place them by name. And if you aren't a Beatles fanatic or don't listen to the oldies, Badfinger is just another one of those bands you hear on oldies radio.

I get it. I really do. New generation equals new music or something like that. I don't like it, but I get it, so when a Jared Lekites comes along, I grab and hold on. Melody, deep harmonies, hooks? I can't get enough of them in this computer-dominated music hell perpetrated by the remnants of a mortally wounded music industry (thank the gods that music does not need a corporate structure to survive). No fancy gimmicks here. No videos with images that flash by so fast they want to make you want to stick a fork in your eye. This is music stripped down to what Lekites hears--- what Lekites wants.

Like I said, Lekites wants pop. Badfinger? Marmalade? Beach Boys? Doesn't matter. He loves it. And he plays it. He gives us five separate tracks, each on its own path--- leaning toward Brit Pop (Love That Lasts), toward straight pop (Let Your Hair Down Once In Awhile), toward a mixture of the two (Electric Car Ballet). They ride on the breeze of sixties and early seventies AM radio and, like the songs of The Dementians and Laurie Biagini and the Research Turtles' Judson Norman, live in the present as much as the past.

I don't know. Maybe you had to live back then to really appreciate what music like this is. Some kids get it, some don't. Whether you get it or not, it doesn't hurt to take a little side trip for a listen. You can scope out Lekites's music on his MySpace page. As much as I sometimes don't like this new style of communication, it does open doors heretofore closed. Check him out. Only takes a few minutes of your time. If you look at it like it's a musical treasure hunt, the music may be payment enough. Maybe more.

Frank O. Gutch Jr.

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