It is the third LP from The Sharp Things, possibly the only symphonic pop band in their native city of New York, a group led by songwriter/vocalist/pianist Perry Serpa. It was recorded in 4 months, traversing 3 of the 5 boroughs of NYC by piecing together sound bites on a laptop. Considering indie economics, The Sharp Things could have limited themselves. Instead, they went for broke. The result is an undeniably big pop record.
In addition to tracking the 10 members of The Sharp Things in their rehearsal spaces, living rooms and basements, the band recorded their friends- Broadway luminary, Michael Cerveris (Sweeney Todd, Love Musik, Tommy, etc), in his living room, Franz Nicolay, the curiously mustachioed accordionist/keyboardist of the Hold Steady in his kitchen (you can hear the clicks of his nails on the keys) and a 40 piece orchestra in their concert hall, among other cool stuff.
When put under the nose of Bar/None label-head Glenn Morrow, he exclaimed, “This is like a classic Burt Bacharach album if Burt could actually sing!” Soon after, Morrow heard a rough demo for a song called “Cruel Thing,” a soul-tinged track the group hadn’t intended to put on the new album. Convinced he heard a hit single for the summer, Morrow urged the band back into the studio to record it. They entered Brooklyn’s Truth And Soul, once an outpost for the Dap Kings, with producer Prince Polo and a perfect pop tune flew out the other end a day later.
At the end of the day, we have a record that is hard not to enjoy, or at least marvel at. The first step is in the listening, though, so go to it!