Gabe Goodman – Friendly Fires

May 22, 2011

Gabe Goodman returns with his second full-length, “Friendly Fires,” available now through his bandcamp page.

Conundrummer” was, of course, one of my very favorite albums of last year. On the new release, Gabe trades in some of the predecessor’s ornate vocal arrangements for more than a hint of early-1990s indie/power pop — an unexpected but not unwelcome line of evolution and one that makes this record a perfect accompaniment to the start of summer.

Gabe still plays nearly all the instruments, assisted by Will Radin. And the songwriting/storytelling, which are really his forte, continue to stand out, with highlights such as “A Common Application,” the title track (below), “Sour Apple,” “Physical Education,” and “Trivial” (also below) all matching or surpassing the magic of “Cops at Crystal Lake” and “Weightless” from the debut.

Once upon a time, something like this would have earned a spot on “120 Minutes” and at least a couple dates with Winona Ryder. Today, it just sounds like an instant classic.

“Friendly Fires”

“Trivial”

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