Material Issue – International Pop Overthrow

ARTIST: Material Issue                                                                220px-material-issue-ipo

TITLE:  International Pop Overthrow

YEAR RELEASED: 1991

CHART ACTION: #86

SINGLES: Valerie Loves Me (#3 Modern), Diane (#6 Modern), Renee Remains the Same

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: No

LINEUP: Jim Ellison, Ted Ansani, Mike Zelenko

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Chicago-area power poppers make a retro sounding record, and it sounds fresh in 1991.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Recorded in the studio the Shoes owned (in Zion, IL), Material Issue’s debut album mines the same fertile power-pop ground as their mentors, but with a little more modern sound. Still, the album sounded like it came from a couple decades past.

There are definite high points here. Every song named after a woman (and there are four of them) is a winner, especially “Diane”, which is infectious and hooky. Also, the title track has some nice moments, a fiercer guitar, a faux UK accent, and great harmonies.

While the sound is still enjoyable, the overall album has some tracks that just aren’t up to scratch, sounding like second-drafts or copies of their hits. Still, for the best songs, it’s a good one to have around to remind yourself of the joys of power pop.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: The Shoes’ Jeff Murphy produced this.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Some B-sides have been appended.

GRADE: B+:  The lesser tracks knock this down a couple of notches, but the best songs are fun and joyful.

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