THURSDAY, JANUARY 04, 2007|
Like their power-pop contemporaries Fountains of Wayne, the Seattle natives in Harvey Danger have dedicated their careers to creating sharp, articulate, woefully underappreciated music. Their songcraft has aged well since the band’s mid-‘90s emergence, and Little by Little features some of the finest classic pop in years. But we’re in the 21st century now, and pop music has been largely limited to the sales-driven schlock you'll hear on Ashlee Simpson albums. God bless Harvey Danger for carrying the torch into the new century.
Little by Little packs a serious punch, with singer Sean Nelson spitting out literate, biting lyrics over bouncing piano chords and energetic guitars. These glossy songs have been painstakingly engineered to lodge themselves in your brain, to sink their poppy hooks into your cerebellum and never let go. At the same time, there’s a damn-the-man mentality to tracks like “Cream and Bastards Rise,” which sound too punky and pissed-off to have such a careful agenda. Combine that with the fact that Harvey Danger released this album on the internet for free – for FREE, for God’s sake – and you’ve got a record that’s both careful and carefree. Which, I suppose, is kind of what pop music is all about. - Andrew Leahey