Chris Collingwood, frontman of Fountains of Wayne releases his first solo LP under the monicker Look Park on 22nd July. Mentioning Fountains of Wayne will undoubtedly make you think this release may be a little pop-punk in line with their hit Stacey’s Mom but as aside the vocals, Look Park is a far cry from the former. This LP is a blend of psychedelic-pop that with a few pops and crackles wouldn’t sound too out of place on a 60’s Cat Stevens or even Elvis Costello record, so it seems reasonable that Mitchell Froom should have produced it!
The eponymous LP has a style that I haven’t heard successfully delivered since Semisonic came to the fray with Secret Smile in 1999 and I will freely admit that it’s perfectly palatable and I like it a lot. Equally however, it already sounds pretty dated and it’s overall, really quite unexciting or attention grabbing. So unfortunately, it’s pretty generic, which is a shame as those involved have individually created some great works.
The pinnacle of the album for me is Aeroplane and only being the 4th track of 10, that’s peaking too early, leaving the remaining tracks to blend into the background unless you concentrate hard. We can therefore safely assume that this may alienate the more casual listeners that pop attracts and certainly puts me off listening beyond that point with any real effort.
I appreciate this sounds negative and perhaps more so than I intended as this is definitely the sort of album I’d play at home, but in the background while entertaining, for which it would be perfect. It’s inoffensive, tuneful, melodic and unobtrusive so for such things it’s ideal, but with a wealth of that sort of music available, it could easily be lost amongst other artists producing similar music and certainly overshadowed by the classic artists that made this kind of music in the first place. So while it’s pretty OK, it’s not going to be something I’d rush to buy, or stream to listen intently, as I already own records like it and better from the 60s and 70s.
In short, I think that while I like the principle of what Look Park set out to do appealing and the execution is good, it still needs a little reinvention and refinement before it really floats my boat.