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Pop Etc

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iTunes Review

With its eponymous debut album, Pop ETC embraces the title of Jimmy Buffett’s 1977 record Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes without sounding anything like him. More specifically, the indie band used to live in San Francisco and perform melancholy, Shins-esque, baroque pop as Morning Benders. Then in early 2012, the group relocated to Brooklyn and completely changed its sound and name to more closely resemble the cosmopolitan R&B created by bands like Air and Phoenix. “New Life” opens Pop ETC with a glossy, neon production where Christopher Chu sings through Auto-Tune effects over a minimal blend of synths and drum machines. “Back to Your Heart” boasts some of the most uplifting melodies here, plus mixing-console wizardry courtesy of Andrew Dawson (Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, The Pet Shop Boys, Nas, etc.). The infectiously catchy single “Keep It for Your Own” has Chu exercising a cool restraint in the chorus before blowing out the refrain with a pop sophistication that gets stuck in your head (but not in an annoying commercial-jingle kind of way). “Yoyo” closes the set with bright, '80s electro-pop tones.

Customer Reviews

Really not feeling it

I liked the Morning Benders quite a bit and had hoped to like this despite my misgivings about the name change and new direction, but I just can't get behind it at all. This isn't because I'm an indie purist, I like pop as well, but this just feels cynical as hell. I understand that they shouldn't be expected to keep producing the same album and it was sort of a brave choice to go this route. Maybe the kids'll will like it more than me, but I guess that's the point. Morning Benders seemed like a smart BAND to me that made grown up music. This is the exact opposite.

Appropriate change of pace when it comes down to it.

I was a huge fan of the Morning Benders. I was very skeptical about the change of tone that the band had taken. Upon taking a lot of time to think about this album, here are my thoughts: We are at a point in music where many of the top 40 songs in the country are unbearably bad. Mainstream radio used to be better in the 80's and 90's in my opinion. What these guys have done is very brilliant. They have brought back a sound that has been absent from pop stations. They have always had a knack for smart and catchy hooks. They use their skills to their advantage here. Of course a part of me will miss the quiet ambient moments of Big Echo, but if you think about it, they already gave us that record. This is what they are feeling right now. The tone is uplifting and the hooks are intact. This is the perfect album for the beginning of summer. It reminds me of when better summer tunes were played on the radio. It has a re-juvinating quality to the whole album. If you like bands like "Neon Indian", there are a lot of great moments for you here. For Morning Benders fans, it might take some time, but the more you listen to it, the more you hear them. I could see this album really growing on me. This is one of the summer albums that you are going to want in your collection.

How sad

Loved The Morning Benders. What is this?


Formed: 2012 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '10s

In the midst of relocating from San Francisco to Brooklyn, slickly polished indie rock quartet the Morning Benders parted ways with bassist Tim Or and changed their name to POP ETC. This decision came after the band toured extensively and learned that the word "bender" had some homophobic slang connotations in parts of the U.K. In a press release regarding the name change, the band stated "We simply cannot go on using a name that is demeaning to the gay community. The reason we are making music is...
Full Bio
Pop Etc, POP ETC
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Customer Ratings