Originally issued in 2008 and enjoying an expanded domestic release on Engine Room Recordings two years later, Jody Porter
's first solo album is a solid collection of rockers that plays on his strength as a guitarist of distinction, and shows him up to be a pretty good singer to boot. The Fountains of Wayne
fretmaster (and guest guitarist to many) writes in a power pop mode, as expected, but also stretches his legs with luxurious, groove-oriented numbers like the opening "Twilite" (which hints at his shoegazer past with the band the Belltower
) and "Hide in the Light." The pretty ballad "Good to Be Alone" segues into a sort of answer song, "You're Not Alone," whose dreaminess is echoed in the lovely acoustic closer, "Night for Days." Porter
uses organ and sequencer to create drama on the Bowie-esque
"To the Moon," a space-blues stunner that showcases a grittier vocal style. But if janglin' is what the people want, there's plenty to be had. "In Between Time" packs an epic's worth of melody in three and a half minutes. "A Beautiful Life" is a power pop sparkler with a fetching guitar line. "Waiting for the Stars" bounces around the stratosphere, with suspended chords and atmospheric verses that burst into super-punchy choruses. A neat stereo riff and banging hook lights up the glammy "Cars on the Motorway." Fountains of Wayne
fans will want to hear this, but anyone who values trebly Brit-pop and guitar-centric melodic rock will hope that this isn't a one-off side project.