Romantic, sophisticated, intelligent & heartwarming.

Words that will readily spring to mind when any discerning music lover savours the Crowd's latest ode to sixties powerpop love songs.

" This album is a personal tribute to the bands that mean the most to me - the Beatles and the Beach Boys " explains Kevin Mathews, the Crowd's principal singer-songwriter, " it's also an attempt to prove that music made in Singapore can stand up to anything else in the world right now. "

With collaborator Tim Nolan, Mathews - the voice behind that infectious Christmas 1993 radio hit My One & Only - has invested precious time, money and effort to deliver a melody-driven collection of thirteen songs that will demand your full attention.

Mathews elaborates - " Our approach to the recording of Pop was simple - song over technique. Basically, we gave the tunes paramount consideration in the arrangements in the hope that their strengths would be enough without the need for any fancy production gimmicks."

And it seems to have paid off!

Recorded in spontaneous bursts of creative energy over the course of six months at TNT Studio, Pop's lush tones and angelic melodies belie the austere nature of the production process. Much of the programming was achieved by Nolan operating a Yamaha QS300 Keyboard and embellished by Mathews' acoustic guitarwork and vocals.

Tim Nolan adds, " Although the songs are well-crafted, we maintained a spontaneous feel by experimenting with sounds and arrangements in the studio. There were many ' happy accidents ' that we've incorporated into songs. "

Make no mistake, Pop is radio-friendly, and the Crowd intended it that way as Mathews explains - "The first five tracks on the CD are filled to the brim with hooks, placed there strategically to snare the unwary listener. Songs like Forever, Feel the Same Way and (As Strong As A) Mountain are catchy yet emotionally-charged, the melody line primed for maximum effect. I hope the radio gives them the support they deserve!"

There is no pretence or affectation with Pop, it represents commerciality without compromise - where hopefully, like the best sixties music, art and pop can go hand in hand.

Perhaps Nolan expresses the vision of the Crowd best when he declares, " When people say ' local music ' they hear the ' local ' but don't listen to the ' music '. This album could change all that, it could get people to remove the blinkers and enjoy Pop for what it is ... pop. "

Play by Play

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