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Up in the Air

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Album Review

An heir to the Southern power pop tradition pioneered by Big Star and institutionalized by fellow North Carolinians the dB's, Brett Harris has connections to both of his forefathers. He played in Big Star Three tribute concerts and toured with Chris Stamey, Peter Holsapple, and Will Rigby in 2012, strong signals of how he's keeping the jangle alive, but the real proof of Harris' talents lie on Up in the Air, his second solo album. Deft, clean, and tuneful, Up in the Air is classicist in format, adhering to guitar pop traditions established in the '60s yet never quite sounding like any record from that decade, nor the trebly, nervy power pop of the '70s, either. Harris isn't a fussy writer or record maker: he lets his tunes breathe and keeps his allusions sly, letting offhand references to Paul McCartney's Ram hang in the air. Harris takes further cues from McCartney in crafting his hooks into full-blooded songs, then gives them glistening, assured arrangements that never push his sweetness or melody too hard. This gentle touch lets Up in the Air unfold slowly and strongly: it'll sink its hooks into you without you even knowing.

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Up in the Air, Brett Harris
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  • $9.90
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Pop
  • Released: Mar 04, 2016

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