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Queens English

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Album Review

In classic pop of the Brian Wilson/Harry Nilsson variety — the kind that has influenced everything from ‘70s power pop to the more contemporary exploits of Panda Bear, the Ruby Suns, et al — youthful naïvete is a big part of the package. Without that boyish innocence, songs like "Wouldn't It Be Nice" would seem rather creepy. That's what makes New York songwriter Mark Bacino's accomplishment on Queens English such a welcome anomaly. Bacino is the sort who has assimilated pop in all its forms, from Burt Bacharach to Squeeze, and his first two albums aren't lacking in sparkling melodic moments, but Queens English proves that it's possible to introduce actual maturity into pop with no adverse effects. Full of semi-autobiographical songs, Bacino's third album tells of forsaking the bright lights of the big city for the semi-suburban lifestyle of the outer boroughs to start a family. The real masterstroke, though, is that he imbues these topics with that same sense of wonder at the heart of all great pop songs. Whether he's singing about an expectant mother ("Muffin in the Oven"), a mother and father (Bacino's parents) staking their claim on the world ("Angeline & the Bensonhurst Boy"), the ups and downs of new parenthood ("Camp Elmo," "Ballad of M & LJ"), or the simple joy of living ( "Happy"), he mates his lyrics with elegant, light-as-a-feather melodies redolent of McCartney/Emitt Rhodes at their most reflective. The fact that Bacino also manages to pull this off without ever seeming cloying or overly earnest makes his feat all the more impressive, and ultimately fills the listener with a sense of optimism for the future of pure pop music made by full-fledged adults. ~ J. Allen, Rovi

Customer Reviews

It Doesn't Get Any Better Than This

Mark Bacino could continue to churn out album after album of the exquisitely perfect Pop Gems he provided on his first two records, and you would be blissfully content forever. For once his beautifully unforgettable songs have wrapped themselves around your heart, they stay with you, and make you smile, just like an old friend. But, infectiously impeccable hooks and harmonies aside, he is, after all, an artist, and artists do grow. With 'Queens English', Mark makes a musical transition from the breathless exhilaration of first love to the sometimes bittersweet joys of starting a family. He's grown up, for sure, but lost none of the wide eyed wonder that made his first two outings resonate so deeply. Heartfelt and emotional, but never cloyingly sappy or over sentimental, Queen's English is brilliantly diverse, yet cohesive in a 'concept album' sort of way. Each track is its' own jewel, while simultaneously helping to tell a story that is filled with laughter and tears, just like life. From the simple, sing a long celebration of 'Happy', to the warm, sweet 'Ballad of M and LJ' to the achingly beautiful 'Bridge and Tunnel', that is every bit as great as any song Harry Nilsson ever wrote, (I can actually see him sitting on the other side of the piano watching Mark sing and smiling proudly) Queens English is a total winner. There is not a false note to be found anywhere here. Like everything else Mark writes, after you've heard it, you'll want to listen to it again. And again. And again. There is nothing better than the feeling of being in very capable hands, and with Mark Bacino, they are the hands of a master.

Double Fantasy, but more fun

Reminds me abbit of DOUBLE FANTASY. Very New York. Very daddy. Unafraid of its own songcraft and visiting some old-time rock styles.

Talented Pop Master

A phenomenal recording that refreshes the pop genre with earnest lyrics and obvious talent. Great musicianship boosts this recording even further in a time when imbeciles with big budgets are dominating airplay. You need to buy this right now.


Born: New York City, New York, USA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Mark Bacino is a New York-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer with a bent toward melodic rock and power pop. Born in New York City, Bacino grew up on a steady diet of the Monkees, Kiss, Herb Alpert, the Beach Boys, Cheap Trick, and other similarly inclined pop acts. By high school, Bacino had taught himself to play guitar and was already experimenting with four-track recording in his basement. After graduating from St. John's University, Bacino released several independent...
Full Bio
Queens English, Mark Bacino
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Pop, Music, Rock
  • Released: May 04, 2010

Customer Ratings

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