Friday, March 29, 2019

The Innocence - The Innocence (1967)

Peter Anders and Vinnie Poncia began their career as the Tradewinds, a psychedelic pop duo who wrote music for artists such as the Ronettes, the Crystals, and other Phil Spector projects. They changed their name to the Innocence in 1967, releasing an eponymous album that was promoted by their label as a "good time" album in the vein of the Lovin' Spoonful. They broke up after the one release.

When it comes to records on which they were the performers, prolific songwriters, singers, and producers Pete Andreoli and Vinnie Poncia, Jr. might be best known for their discs as the Tradewinds. Lesser known is this 1967 self-titled album by the Innocence, which is pop/rock at its bounciest and frothiest. It's an apt title for both album and band, considering it's from a time when much rock was getting decidedly less innocent by the minute. In contrast, the Innocence offered perky, well-crafted to the point of well-scrubbed tunes with the slightest of influences from folk-rock and psychedelia. Some of the songs -- including the Top 40 hit "There's Got to Be a Word (Beyond the Meaning of Love)" and the smaller hit "Mairzy Doats" -- could have been relics from the Tin Pin Alley/music hall era, though dressed up with harmonies and arrangements that could have only been possible in the sunshine pop era. This might be too sweet even for big fans of this sort of stuff, though it does vary the pace a little with bits of folk-rockish balladry ("Someone Got Caught in My Eye"), Motown ("All I Ask"), bossa nova ("Your Show Is Over"), and labelmates the Lovin' Spoonful (slightly recalled by "It's Not Gonna Take Too Long," and covered to unnotable effect on "Do You Believe in Magic"). The CD reissue on Rev-Ola has basic historical liner notes and two bonus tracks: the single versions of "There's Got to Be a Word (Beyond the Meaning of Love)" and "I Don't Wanna Be Around You."

1 comment:

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