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Album Review

East Coast power pop specialists Stereo Soul have a confectionary grasp on melody that can either endear or grate depending on the listener's mood. The songs on their self-titled debut deal with issues of love, life, and politics with an innocence that makes their often superficial protagonists — Internet chatroom sweethearts and subway-riding heartbreakers — disarming in an adorable pet kind of way. Musically, the duo is a testament to their extensive record collections. Keyboardist/bassist/vocalist John Moller and drummer/vocalist Gene Pompilio have the chops to emulate obvious heroes like the Cars, the Beatles, and the entire canon of early-'90s pop-rock heroes like Jellyfish and the Rembrandts. Their reliance on harmonies and hook-laden synth lines paint the record in a mid-afternoon sunny hue, and their infectious melodies teeter — enjoyably so — between stomachache and tooth decay. However, with frequent instances of "na, na, na, na, na" choruses and song titles like "(I'm in Love With A) Porno Star" and "Internet Life Sucks," the overall feel of the album shifts into throwaway-pop-novelty, making attempts at public grandstanding — the lifeless "Victims of Capitalism" — more like desperate shots at actual songwriting. Harmless fun if you're in the mood.

Customer Reviews

A fine Indie specimen.

This is one of the best indie records I've heard in a long time. The strength of the group comes from solid songwriting. Mary Stuyvesant is the best song on the album, in my opinion. Other great moments are Subwary Rider, (I'm In Love With A) Pornostar, Now She's Lonely & Wish You Were Her. I bought the album for $1US in a bargain bin, but would have gladly paid full-price for the album. This is a group to watch; I'm expecting that we will soon be hearing more about Stereosoul.


Genre: House

Years Active: '00s

New Jersey's Stereosoul is a four-piece power pop ensemble that specializes in sunny alternative rock, AM gold, and British Invasion knowhow. Guitarist/vocalist Joon Quinn, drummer/vocalist Gene Pompilio, and John Moller (synth-bass, keyboards) originally came together under the name Cosmic Avenger in 1995. They toured locally and released The Sunlight Diner & the Meaning of Life, which appeared on numerous Top Ten lists and in 1999 brought the group to Los Angeles for the International Pop Overthrow....
Full Bio

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