ALBUM REVIEW: Pop is back and it’s ‘Sittin’ Pretty’

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First Posted: 4/8/2014

It may have been released during the summer of 2013, but Sweatheart’s album “Sittin’ Pretty” has just made it across this reviewer’s desk. This Philadelphia-based band has a sound similar to the second coming of The Go-Go’s with hints of The Cars thrown in for good measure. They have great guitar riffs and catchy lyrics, and “Sittin’ Pretty” feels like it can, and will be, a perpetual summer staple in anyone’s album collection.

As soon as the opening track, “Keeper of the Blood,” begins playing, it feels like what pop tunes used to sound like during the ‘80s: good, catchy music. Pop in and of itself is not a bad thing, but it has become bastardized over the past few decades by auto-tune and overproduction. Sweatheart, which has some roots in Scranton via guitarist/bassist/vocalist Brian Langan, keeps it simple with good songwriting, great harmonies, and killer instrumentals.

Each song is a fun nostalgia-fueled romp to yesteryear; the tracks sound like they have been plucked right out of the ‘80s. “Crummy Summer” has great surf rock guitar riffs, but a lyrical sound from the neon era. “Tonight, I’ve Got You by My Side” feels like a classic ‘80s pop ballad, slowing things down just enough while still keeping the song light. And the end track “Cupplapegs” has an earworm chorus that anyone would gladly have repeat in their head.

“Sittin’ Pretty” is just one of those fun albums that does not get old, and that may be partially due to Sweatheart’s dynamic. It is almost impossible to imagine the group not having fun every time they get together and perform, and it translates over to the album. It is lively, carefree, and it will stay with you for hours afterward.

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