Dreaming Up the Perfect Pop / Various
The '60s-themed album cover images of three young girls with bouffant hairdos, bright floral-print sleeping bags, and a stack of 45s perfectly convey the essence of the giddy indie pop encompassed by the 21 songs on Dreaming Up the Perfect Pop. From the opening Lovin' Spoonful-flavored bop of Astropop 3's 'Lost in a Dream' through the final electronic blip of Capsela's 'A Little Company,' the music on this Planting Seeds Records compilation seems to have flawlessly captured all the sparkling moments of an ideal summer day, albeit a summer day in the late '60s. Fans of Britain's Earworm Records, the Orange Twin and Elephant Six scenes, and groups like Elliott Smith, the Apples in Stereo,Moviola, and the Turtles should have some idea of the sort of bliss pop to expect here. While some of names on this record might not ring a bell with most listeners, their work blends in so well with that of the more familiar acts that it doesn't matter. Among the bigger names taking part in Dreaming Up the Perfect Pop are the Essex Green, Kleenex Girl Wonder, the Mendoza Line, Ashley Park, and the Heavy Blinkers. Marykate O'Neil pops up with Jill Sobule in tow for some raucous pop fun, while Ashley Park's mellow acoustic track would fit right in among the retro jangle pop sounds coming out on Spain's Elefant imprint. Call & Response, the Heavy Blinkers, and Souvenir check in with some twinkling girl pop, the latter straying into the realm of quirky French pop (with a country & western slant, no less). The Pulsars/Peaches-inflected new wave electo-rock of Winterbrief breaks the spell of '60s pop, but the remainder of the album is fun in it's own, more straightforward indie pop way. While performers like the Dupont Circles, Kleenex Girl Wonder, and Paula Kelley offer up songs that shake off a little of the sunny sleepiness of the other tracks, the album still plays it pretty low-key, making it the perfect soundtrack to a listless June day, or a great way to warm up in the middle of winter. - Karen E. Graves/ALL MUSIC GUIDE.