top 10 albums

The albums on this list are not in any sort of order. 

These are the 10 albums of 2019 that represent the style of Power Pop associated with Hop On Power Pop.

 

That may be a load of rubbish to some, but these albums took our fancy this year. It doesn't mean that they were the highest selling, highest charting, best recorded, best sung, best writing...that's pretty tough to determine. However, somehow these albums really made us feel, think, dance and love music. They were all on repeated listens at Hop On Power Pop. 

 

Sometimes, we'll look back and realize we made a mistake. Perhaps we left off a crucial album or included one that in a few years time, we are no longer hopping over...but that's too late. There's going to be no changes to this Top 10 List.

It's set in stone folks!

 

The rules are:

  • Must be a full album containing more than 6 songs (TRT must exceed 30 mins) Means: EPs aren't full albums but are eligible for the Best Songs List

  • It must have been released during 2019

  • Most of the songs on the album need to fall into the Power Pop genre

  • Power Pop / another genre albums are acceptable (Example: Power Pop / Indie)

  • It should not be on a major record label

  • Albums cannot be promoted by a major studio                         (Those guys don't need our help!) 

  • Bands or Solo Artist albums only

  • No compilations (or various artist albums)

  • Position on this list cannot be purchased

Enjoy our Top 10 ALBUMs of 2019 list!

Hop On Power Pop

(Albums are in Alphabetical order, Not Rating order)

Amoeba Teen are one of those bands that remind you of the feeling you get from another group, but you can't exactly place it and if you do, then it changes. I guess that's why it's amoeba? At times they remind me of The Grays chanelling the best parts of Jon Brion. Then at other times I'm taken back to Gilbert O'Sullivan and even Crosby Stills Nash and Young. But the one thing all of these musicians have in common, and the number one reason this album makes HOPP's Top 10 List is HARMONY.  I love their attention to harmony. It's not just a use of harmony as Beach Boys tool. It's more than that, it's the gravy that ties all these delicious songs together (Big Stir Records)

Medium Wave (Amoeba Teen)
Favorite Track: Suit and Tie
07 Suit And Tie.mp3
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It's interesting that two of the albums that made HOPP's Top 10 of 2019 list start off with a first track of sound effects SFX; Kai Danzbert's Not Only Sunshine and World's Collide's horrendous car crash literally giving us an aural imagining of world's colliding, or at least a couple of cars.

Listening to The Anderson Council is like eating pure Power Pop candy. Every song is delicious, syrupy sweet and highly listenable. There's psychadelic moments but they're still very Power Pop, it's not like we've suddenly gone into Iron Butterfly territory.  Plus if you include a mellotron/harmonium sounding instrument, then I'm hooked (See Lord Cornelius Plum). The standout track IMO is Mrs Kirby's Refridgerator with the Herman's Hermit's icon Peter Noone. You gotta love the George Harrison slide guitar on this song.  It feels like JEM records is just exploding with great Power Pop talents these days. (JEM Records)

World's Collide (The Anderson Council)
Favorite Track: Mrs Kirby's Refridgerator (w/Peter Noone)
15 Mrs. Kirkby's Refrigerator (with.mp3
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You may have already heard the story, how I almost blew it when I was first introduced to the music of David Brookings. Well, that's all changed now and  here the album is on our Top 10 List. All you need to do is listen to the back catalogue to know that Mr. Brookings veins run deep with Power Pop. Sure a few nerves branch off to country western territory and another going back in time to fifties style rock and roll.  While it's not all Power Pop, it's still a solid, well written, melodic album (Byar Records)

Scorpio Monologue (David Brookings & The Average Lookings)
Favorite Track:  I Grow Up Fast
02 I Grow Up Fast.mp3
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Now that I consider Kai a friend, albeit a friend abroad, you may think that Hop On Power Pop is showing favoritism since Kai Danzberg has made our Top 10 list for 2 years in a row now. I assure you, that's not the case. Kai just writes songs that fit the type of Power Pop that we love. It's energetic Power Pop that takes you back to the days of Jellyfish, Big Star, Beatles all with a slightly up to date vibe.

On this album Kai's best songs are his collaborations with other great artists like Roger Joseph Manning Jr (Jellyfish), Dana Countryman (The Amazing Pink Things), David Myhr (The Merrymakers) and the amazing Lisa Mychols (The Masticators). His collaborations are amazing for two reasons; they're among his best songs and they're done overseas! Kai is in Germany and most of his collaborators are not. Sure, it's today's modern technology making the world a much smaller, more accessible place, but still, the results are stunning.

It's fitting that Kai's music utilizes modern tech while sounding current because Kai is still a very young man compared to most of the other Power Pop bands/musicians putting out new music today. Hopefully, he will continue to keep Power Pop not only alive but take it into a new direction and bring along new, teenage fans of the genre. Come On Kai, you're our only hope. No wait, there is another {Johnathan Pushkar, Addison Love, David Novotny...to name a few.} (Big Stir Records)

Not Only Sunshine (Kai Danzberg)
Favorite Track:  My Beautiful Day (w/Dana Countryman)
02 My Beautiful Day (w_Dana Countrym.mp3
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Lannie Flowers cannot write a bad song. Actually, he can't even write just an OK song, all of his songs are good. There's no Auntie Grizelda, no Mother (The Police) and no Revolution Number 9's on any of his albums. He's a songwriter like Tom Petty, every song he writes is good. But unlike Tom Petty, Lannie Flowers is like a Rodriguez or Tommy Keene, in a category where he should rule the world of music but anyone outside of the Power Pop circles has no idea who he is and they should.

The album HOME is a cumulation of  a life's work in music. It's brilliant. It's titled, Home, and that's not by coincidence. It's not like "The White Album" or like most of the Weezer albums which you have to refer to by color, which tells the listner nothing about the album itself. Every song on HOME seems to tie into the title. The word HOME seems to come up in nearly every song on the album. It's sweet and retrospective, like Lannie has reached a part of his life where he's looking back over his life. The album moved me and that's not common with a Power Pop artist, they usually sing about crushing on a girl. It reminded me of how Paul McCartney seems to write songs where he's looking backwards more than he is forwards. But, dare I say it? Lannie Flowers is writing better songs than the genius Paul McCartney did at that age (Not that I know Lannie's age, mind you). I'm just saying that I doubt McCartney will ever turn out another Band On The Run, while Lannie Flowers has just written one of the most perfect albums I've ever heard. Repeated listenings just keep getting better. Sure it's not all Power Pop, but I'll move into this HOME any day of the week. (SpyderPop Records​)

Home (Lannie Flowers)
Favorite Track:  Home
02 Home.mp3
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Mondello is a small fishing town in the city of Palermo a region of Sicily in Southern Italy. So, what is a Power Pop band that's based out of Little Rock Arkansas doing calling themselves Mondello, let alone making beautiful Power Pop in the bible belt of America? To quote Ray Davies, "You really got me!" If you want answers, then go ask John Moran, the brain behind Mondello.

This album came to us in the middle of the year, when a bunch of very traumatic incidents seemed to hit our little home. Hello, All You Happy People had to take a backseat while we put out fires and focused our attention on life's priorities. 

But now it's the end of 2019 and it's time to reflect over the last 12 months of great Power Pop music. There was the little album, collecting several months of dust but screaming Hellow! I said HELLO! 

According to self published bios from John Moran, this album apparently took 20 years to make, so a few months probably won't hurt it. But now it's finally time to give the album the spotlight it deserves. Apologies John!

One of the things that stands out with this album is that I remember giving it a quick listen as it was loaded onto my iTunes playlist. I remember the ice breaking opening chords to Sherilyn blasting through my speakers, instantly giving form to the function of calling us "Happy People!" It seems to say, hell yes, be happy and here's music to dance a happy dance to. 

So when I found myself moving the album back up to the top for a listen, those same chords sounded both familiar and welcome. I almost felt like I heard them before, not from this album but from some iconic Power Pop album that's worked it's way into the Power Pop bible of songs. It's not. It's original. But that just goes to show how good this album actually is, it just came out in 2019 but many of the tracks already sound like iconic Power Pop gold. Thanks for being patient John Moran. (1149198 Records DK)

Hello, All You Happy People (Mondello)
Favorite Track: Sherilyn
01 Sherilyn.mp3
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This is The Pozers 7th album. They've been around for more than 25 years and are no longer the new sophmore to music, but full disclosure, this is our first introduction to this band. We're hooked. A sweet balance of Cheap Trick and George Harrison (SoCal). Their lyrics are simple, fittingly Power Pop since most seem to be about girl love, but there's a definite sardonic wit that's missing from a lot of Power Pop/Bubblegum lyrics. The album title, Crybaby Bridge is proof in the pudding, it's an admission that you're going to hear songs that should be accompanied by the world's smallest violin, not by jangly guitars. But an album of tiny violin music wouldn't make our Top 10 list. The band is based out of Dallas Texas once more proving there must be something in the southern waters that are putting Power Pop melodies into the minds of great musicians. The intro to The Obvious Ledge says "I'm just the wrong kind of person to be really big and famous." Well, if Power Pop were to actually get the attention it deserves, you would be. (Kool Kat Musik)

Crybaby Bridge (The Pozers)
Favorite Track: The Only Girl
04 The only Girl.mp3
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You can read our full review on Straighten Up to fully understand why Johnathan Pushkar's album has made ours and many Top 10 list's this year. It's got everything you'd want in a Power Pop album as if it was designed by the same brains who thought up The Monkees. We had our suspicions that Johnathan Pushkar was a actor, robot or computer generated AI celebrity. He's not. 

The songs are short and perfect Power Pop. It's difficult to image a better nod to Power Pop in a debut album. Luckily, we don't have to imagine because it's here in Straighten Up. 

Where Johnathan Pushkar differs from his young, Power Pop 20something peers is that while people like Kai Danzberg seem to be updating 60s & 70s Power Pop for the modern age, Johnathan seems to be pulling 60s Power Pop into the 2000s. (JEM Records)

Straighten Up (Johnathan Pushkar)
Favorite Track: Isabella
03 Isabella.mp3
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How did I not see The Shake Ups? They're an Indiana based band that writes Power Pop songs about cartoons and pop culture! Their latest release, Meddling Kids is based around the 50th anniversary of Scooby Doo. Many of you HOPP folks know that one of my alter egos is Velma Dinkley, so it's a match made in heaven. 

But, it doesn't just take writing about Scooby-Doo in a Power Pop style to win us over here at Hop On Power Pop. Not if the songs aren't any good, right? But, relax kids, there's no mystery here. The Shake-Ups songs are fun, catchy and great. They do run closer to the Bubblegum side of Power Pop but that's also a perfect fit. There's certainly no confusing their style of Power Pop with bands like Jellyfish or Big Star. They're more Power Pop by way of Sweet or The Supernaturals. 

If you like comics and cartoons then you're going to love The Shake Ups. (Gelatinous Productions)

Meddling Kids (The Shake-Ups)
Favorite Track: Meddling Kids
01 Meddling Kids.wav
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No album has taken our fancy faster than See You In The Next World by The Vapour Trails. After one listen, I knew it was going to make our Top 10 list even if other bands released 10 Shake Some Action albums with four months left in 2019. Why? Because it's just that good. 

This jangly Power Pop band from Scotland seems to channel better summertime Power Pop than many of it's American predecessors.  After listening to non-American, non-British bands making some of the best 60s & 70s style Power Pop it's no longer surprising to find out one of the best California style Power Pop albums comes from Scotland. 

If you bet me that the son of Roger McGuinn is behind this band, I wouldn't bet you. I'd believe it. Sure, it's got more jangle than power chords on most of these songs but it's the strong songwriting and harmonies that won us over. (Futureman Records)

See You In The Next World (The Vapour Trails)
Favorite Track: See You In The Next World
12 See You in the Next World.mp3
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Episode 2a: David Thompson on Power PopHop On Power Pop Podcast
00:00 / 55:45
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