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She's About to Cross My Mind

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Album Review

This is the most fun, unabashedly Beatles-esque power-pop platter to come out of L.A. in years. Reminding refreshingly of ‘70s/'80s Angelino forebears the Last and Three O'Clock with flecks of the Rutles' All You Need Is Cash, She's About to Cross My Mind has the style and flair that fans of the With the Beatles-Sgt. Pepper Fab Four dream of nightly. These tasty, upbeat tunes are also the sugar plums dancing in those beat group lovers' nocturnal visions, outfitted with brazen McCartney basslines ("Free" is the latest in a long line to grab the one from "Taxman"), Harrison's imitable Rickenbacker chimey guitars, and the simple harmonies of American contemporaries (fellow Brian Epstein client) the Cyrkle, Beau Brummels, and Lovin' Spoonful. They're 11 sunny, post-Merseybeat gems à la Brits the Zombies, Hollies, Searchers, and Elvis Costello ("Hopes Up") — or, to stick with L.A. lore, the Byrds, Knickerbockers, Merry-Go-Round, Monkees, Nerves, Bangs/Bangles, and Jason Falkner's many muses. Who are these happy Buttons, you ask? Two singer-songwriters with time for fruitful collaboration, Seth Swirsky (a hit tunesmith writing for Tina Turner, Al Green, Rufus Wainwright, Jane Weidlin, etc., not to mention his own 2005 LP, Instant Pleasure) — and Rex Daisy's Mike Ruekberg (composer of indie film cult fave Dummy's soundtrack). Clearly, neither cares a fig how nostalgic this sounds, and neither should you. Just radiate in the poptastic splendor of the standout opener "Cruel Girl" and its 10 equally crush-cute friends.

Customer Reviews

A Commendable Effort by The Red Button

If you didn’t know any better, you’d think The Red Button hailed from North West England, near the docks of the River Mersey. The songs on this band’s debut album, She’s About To Cross My Mind, recall music made in the mid-sixties by the likes of Gerry & The Pacemakers, Herman’s Hermits, and, of course, those four moptops from Liverpool. The truth is that The Red Button, comprised of principle singer/songwriters Seth Swirsky and Mike Ruekberg, call Los Angeles home, but the nostalgically groovy sound they create transcends its origin and era. With eleven quick shots of quintessential pop, She’s About To Cross My Mind gives credence to the notion that good music is indeed timeless and, in this case, comes with a wicked backbeat. The garage-rock styling of “Gonna Make You Mine,” for instance, sounds like a blend of The Searchers and the 13th Floor Elevators, melodic yet with drums pounding. In fact, drums play such a crucial role on these songs that even the direst lyrics sound optimistic within the framework of such buoyant music. The album opener, “Cruel Girl,” serves as an ideal example, telling a story of a susceptible guy who, despite his girl treating him wrong, can’t muster the willpower to walk away. Even as this admitted fool narrates his anguish, you can’t help but bop your head with a smile on your face. As much as rhythm factors into the momentum of this music, it’s ultimately the inspired use of melody and harmony that distinguishes it as remarkable. Songs like “Can’t Stop Thinking About Her” and “Floating By” seamlessly thread Swirsky and Rueberg’s vocals into a lovely two-part harmony. And the modest melodies of “It’s No Secret” and the title track, especially, impart a warm sensibility that’s not expressed enough in contemporary pop music. While the songs undeniably strike a nostalgic chord, for the most part, they don’t sound overtly derivative. The only instance that cuts it close is on “Free,” which begins with a guitar progression so comparable to The Beatles’ “Rain” that you almost wind up doing a double take to make sure you’re not listening to Past Masters, Volume 2. Even then, though, the song soon takes its own direction and ultimately sounds like something fresh. Overall, She’s About To Cross My Mind is a commendable effort by The Red Button. In the span of thirty-two minutes, this band has crammed a staggering amount of musicality and heart into eleven infectious pop songs.

This CD is About to Be Played Agin

Folks, listen up. These guys, two genius pop gents named Seth Swirsky and Mike Ruekberg, who write and perform as The Red Button, have got the goods in a really big way. I can't put this any plainer: This is an instant classic. It needs to be thrown into a time capsule -- but before you do you'll want to listen to it again and again and again. Where to begin? Great singing, clever lyrics and playing -- and with arrangements that are the equal of what George Martin would have employed for the Beatles circa '64- '66. Subtle counterpoint, great harmonies, you know what I'm talking about. And speaking of 1966, "Ooh Girl", a perfect pop masterpiece, sounds like something Graham Gouldman would have written between "Bus Stop" and "Look Through Any Window". Although I love all the songs (when's the last time you could say that of any CD?), another favorite is "Floating By". This song just floors me with its jaunty, get-up-and-go sunniness of vintage Paul McCartney with, to my ears, just a dash of Jeff Lynne thrown in for extra measure. All told, She's About to Cross My Mind, is simply one of the greatest pop debuts of all time. Strong words, but there they are.

The Red Button

Proof of the little engine that can, The Red Button is a brilliant melodic trip in the history of pop from the 60's through the present. Masterfully capturing the feel and aura of the groundbreaking pop movement of yesterday are hit singer/songwriters Seth Swirsky and Mike Ruekberg. With songs such as "She's About To Cross My Mind" and "Cruel Girl" The Red Button smoothes what rough edges pop had left.