Bebopalula and Cupid’s Carnival

Amazing talent has a way of finding like-minded company. Chris Price and Emeen Zarookian (Spirit Kid) combine forces to create this power-pop supergroup. They have added support from a varied cast; Alex Jules, Ben Lecourt, Corey Perez, and occasionally Probyn Gregory on brass. The songs achieve a balance between candy-colored pop and richly constructed art.

The opener “Coloring Book” starts like Chris Price’s solo work until it gets to the rocking chorus and baroque coda of Bebopalula-land. “Rotten Apple” is an easy-listening pop gem bursting with sweetness and Alex Jules “Gone For So Long” attains a Pet Sounds level of reverence. You also hear influences from The Free Design and Nick Drake in songs like “We Remain” and “So Much To See.” While there doesn’t seem to be a stand-out single here, the sonic details in each song are addictive and it will take a few listens to absorb, like “I Think You Know It.” The album finishes with the loose guitar party of “Rock Two Step.” Similar to Apples In Stereo in approach, it’s got a freshness and energy that keeps things from merely sounding like slick retro pop. Highly Recommended.