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WHEAT 
Per Second, Per Second, Per Second…Every Second 
(Aware/Columbia)

Wheat’s third album Hope and Adams made many critics smile with its sophisticated yet earthy pop-rock technique, drawing ready comparisons with the Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev. Heady company, indeed.

A couple of years later, the band’s latest effort Per Second…appears under the banner of a major label and the rich potential of that glorious work is fulfilled in spades. Producer Dave Fridmann (note the Lips/Rev association?) smoothes the edges well without sacrificing an ounce of Wheat’s creative spark or considerable melodic chutzpah. Make no mistake; the tunes found on Per Second would cause powerpop gourmets to drool uncontrollably whilst the ironic rock sensibility (reminiscent of U2 90’s excursions) renders it too cool for comfort.

No better examples of this fact are illustrated by the sprightly “Closer to Mercury” and the ‘should-have-been-a-hit’ infectious “I Met A Girl” where the echo of Philly soul pop ala Todd Rundgren/Daryl Hall resonates throughout.

Consider also the sincere “These are Things,” the quaint harmonized “Go Get The Cops,” the blue-eyed p-funky “Some Days” and the atmospheric “This Rough Magic,” not to mention the wondrously jolly hidden track, and what you get is a pretty essential collection – one of the year’s stronger sets. A+ www.wheatmusic.com