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Goin' Through Changes

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Album Review

Vancouver-based quartet Zumpano had hinted at their soft pop roots on their 1995 debut, Look What the Rookie Did, covering Jimmy Webb's "Rosecrans Boulevard" and investing originals like "Oh That Atkinson Girl" with a definite Brian Wilson influence, but the overall sound of the disc was crunchy pop along the lines of late-period Redd Kross. The follow-up, Goin' Through Changes, largely dispenses with the power chords in favor of a sweet-natured, flowery strain of sunny pop tunes that un-self-consciously betray a deep fascination with the more ornate side of '60s songsmithery without sounding the least bit retro. Singer and primary songwriter Carl Newman is clearly a fan not only of Wilson and Webb, but Randy Newman, Harry Nilsson, and Todd Rundgren, but unlike many of their contemporaries, Zumpano maintains a freshness and enthusiasm that keeps even the more tributary tracks (like "Broca's Way," which sounds like it could have come off of Love's Forever Changes) from sounding like stiff, careful homages to past idols. Other tunes, like "Let's Fight" and the spirited opener "Behind the Beehive," recall the lighter side of Sloan, or even (dare one say it) the better moments of '70s bubble-rockers like the Sweet or the Bay City Rollers. Goin' Through Changes is a terrific album, which makes Zumpano's extended layoff following it that much more frustrating.

Customer Reviews

Terrific Powerpop

Zumpano is led by Carl (AC) Newman, who also serves as lead singer/songwriter of The New Pornographers. Zumpano's music is of a similar vein with very accessible melodic hooks. Zumpano clearly owes a nod to Burt Bacharach, the Beatles and Big Star (all of which is a good thing). This is a terrific, often overlooked album.


MOST UNDERRATED ALBUM EVER!!!! especially in comparison to the popular acclaim of THE SHINS's 'chutes too narrow'-> please check out this album released in 1996! His voice quite similar, but noticeably better songs, no? Take a careful listen!

Predates the current Baroque Pop movement by a decade.

The first time I ever heard The Shins I thought to myself, "Man, these guys sound just like Zumpano". This album is one of my favorites from the 90s. It's less roudy than their first album, but the songs and performances are more solid. If you like The Shins, Band of Horses, New Pornographers, etc you should definitely get Goin' Through Changes!


Formed: 1992 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Cana

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s

Although they only lasted for two albums, Vancouver, British Columbia-based indie power-poppers Zumpano were a fresh and unpretentious act whose mixture of '60s soft pop influences and hard-candy guitar rock made them a pivotal part of the Sub Pop label's image change from early '90s grunge central to a poppier and more eclectic imprint. Zumpano formed in 1992 when drummer Jason Zumpano and guitarist and keyboardist Michael Ledwidge broke up their band Glee on the verge of signing a large major-label...
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