There is something remarkably satisfying about the fact that music journalist/turned musician Ken Sharp, plays a brand of brilliantly infectious Power Pop. After all, he authored the definitive books on Cheap Trick, The Raspberries as well as the popular three-volume Play On!, the Alpha and Omega of Power Pop literature. On his latest, New Mourning, Sharp is easily forgiven for stepping away from the computer for a while because the result is a near-perfect full length of hook-happy, memorable tunes.
The Philadelphia native draws inspiration from the classics, The Beatles and The Raspberries, to more modern peers like Jellyfish all the while managing to put his own groove in the sound. The record is crammed with an impressive guest list, including The Babys’ guitarist Wally Stocker, Knack bassist Prescott Niles and the underrated Rick Springfield. It’s almost irrelevant to call out the standout tracks here, as there is not a weak one among the 14, but “Bad News,” “Burn & Crash” and “Dynamite & Kerosene” all come off like instant classics.
If he keeps churning out albums like this one, some new Power Pop chronicler will have to come along and write the definitive book on Ken Sharp one day.