Thursday, May 18, 2006

Review: Buttercup's CD "Hot Love"

This is my new Happy Album.
I have been trying to compose a lengthy review, all wordy and serious about this CD for several days now, and ell, Screw It! This ain't a newspaper, it's afan's opinion, so stay with that I will.
I found Buttercup last year, partly because of Lara & Reyes, a San Antonio jazz duo known worldwide. Joe Reyes also plays in Buttercup, along with many other projects. I fell in love the first evening I saw them and have been an avid fan ever since. This new CD is long overdue, apparently, and I cannot be happier it is finally surfacing.
The CD release isn't for about 10 days, but I have had a copy for almost that long and cannot quit playing it! When I am happy, I dance in my seat in the car. When I am blue or even keel, I still end up dancing in my seat! I do the lalas and the ooo's right along with them, because, save for a song or two, they have been playing some of this stuff as long as I have been going to their Grackle Mundys and other shows.
BC's first record, "Sick Yellow Flower," was catchy and memorable, a floating sea of soundscapes that please me to no end. "Hot Love" is infectious. It reaches out and makes the listener pay attention. The first three tunes are much more rock than the guys did for the first record, and yet the playful pop attitude, which is a Buttercup signature, shines through. I know one of their influences is Ray Davies of the Kinks (WWRDD? : What Would Ray Davies Do? - my own slogan for Buttercup!) but for some reason I have found reason to liken this new CD to the Turtles. For those too young, the Turtles were a mid- to late Sixties Pop band best known for the tune " Happy Together" (now sadly known mostly due to abuse for TV ads....) The harmonies, the poppiness, the time changes- all of it just rings of the Turtles to me. It is a tough comparison to give out when I know that way too many folks don't know who I am refering to. Not too strangely, I suspect the guys in Buttercup do.

I won't waste the readers' time with chopping up and describing each song in turn, as I had started out doing. That's part of the fun of finding something new- the experience becomes something special between you and the band. If I tell the world how I feel about it all, other than a general overview, I risk tainting someone else's moment of listening with opinions. And we all know how many opinions there are out there!
I will leave it at this for the time being, perhaps inspired after the CD release party here in San Antonio on the 28th of May to write some more. This is one band I would love to see make it, because they are so different, but as I watch one of my other bands outgrown fans like me to become another of those oversized fame riding groups, I sortof hope that Buttercup stays a bit more underground. There is a purity that gets lost as the business end of being a musician takes over. I do not wish them ill in the adventure- I just hope they can remain as down to earth and have as much fun as the burden to perform grows. It is a rough life.

I haven't said much about individual tunes on the CD, so I will mention a few that are particular favourites: "hello,goodbye", "you and you alone," "we're easy," and "shiyganai." I will leave up to the reader to investigate further! Here's how:

and Dial-A Song: the Daily Tune. Call 1-210-PET-ABLE, and listen to one song per day off the new CD, as presented by lead singer Erik Sanden's answering machine. No Kidding.Use a landline though- cell phones don't do so well with music translation.

More later. Just don't miss this CD if you are a pop music fan with a twisted viewof the world. Buttercup will be right up your alley, and they will help you tap into a place of happiness in yourself you might not know was there!

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