The Hard Parts | The Hard Parts Pop Up

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United States - New York

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Rock: Modern Rock Pop: Quirky Moods: Mood: Quirky
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The Hard Parts Pop Up

by The Hard Parts

A music marketer’s worst nightmare and a music fan's sweetest dream, The Hard Parts Pop Up ranges from indie-rock to electronic to singer-songwriter, with both instrumental and vocal tracks that surprise and delight.
Genre: Rock: Modern Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Friendly Fire
2:56 $0.99
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2. Fell Out of the Sky
2:07 $0.99
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3. Not Moving Me
2:58 $0.99
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4. So Happy So Hungry
1:01 $0.99
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5. Stay Down
3:10 $0.99
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6. Back Home
2:59 $0.99
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7. My Pet Cow
1:33 $0.99
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8. Soft Orange Glow
2:19 $0.99
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9. Sparrow's Waltz
2:06 $0.99
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10. Anywhere But Here
3:03 $0.99
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11. Telenovela
2:40 $0.99
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12. Hot2Trot and MonkeyBoy
3:22 $0.99
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13. Cosmic Confirmation
2:58 $0.99
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14. End of the Road
1:58 $0.99
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15. You Should Surf
0:14 $0.99
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16. Mr. Blue
2:57 $0.99
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17. Kids Today
1:54 $0.99
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18. Why Don't You Change?
2:36 $0.99
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19. Poeme for Guitar and Piano
5:25 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Review by John Lane. See the original at http://thesmileshop.net/yaruss.html
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Try The Fish
by John Lane

"What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it."
- Holden Caulfield, The Catcher in the Rye

The above epigraph fits here; trust me. Old glum H.C. has been used for nefarious purposes for so long that it's nice to find an applicable nugget. And so it goes, after listening to Jordan Yaruss's (he of the mostly one-man-band The Hard Parts) sophomore effort "The Hard Parts Pop Up", I find myself wanting to be pals with Yaruss.

A little over 2 years ago, I had the pleasure of reviewing his debut "The Circles" for EarCandy, and I was instantly smitten then. What "The Hard Parts Pop Up" brings to the table now is a refinement of what Yaruss originally put forth: the marriage of catchy pop and unbridled but thought-out eclecticism. I have to stop here and emphasize that the word "eclecticism" is not a throwaway, catch-all term; Yaruss is just as content to trawl the waters of BeachBoy land (listen to the too-brief but hilarious "You Should Surf") as he is Electronica (the pulsing, neu-moo sounds of "My Pet Cow"; there's the acoustic-troubadour imploring us to "Stay Down" when confronted with overhwhelming odds (so that we can have the dignity to rise up once the crush has passed). However, Jordan Yaruss is a man who's not going out on a dare with these stylistic jumps; it's just evident that he enjoys them, so he'd rather not be fenced in!

If I had to identify what the Yaruss touch is, and there are many hallmarks, I'd say the most significant is the directness of his voice. He is the heir to the Brian Wilson that gave us "Busy Doing Nothing", in that -- like a good stand-up -- he can take the commonplace and paint it in such a way that we feel immediate kinship with the songwriter. Amidst the spots of sadness, humor seems to always be on the periphery. Vocally, he's positioned somewhere between the 1968-era Wilson and They Might Be Giants (circa the Apollo-18 era). The song "Soft Orange Glow" (my second favorite track) appears to be a pep-talk to one's self during a bout of depression:

"Hey there/You're okay/Even though/You've been inside all day
Stuck on the couch/Dick in hand/So far away from the life you planned"

"I know this guy," I say to myself - and he seems a lot like me!

What follows this tongue-in-cheek lament is the ethereal, chime-laden "Sparrow's Waltz" -- like soft background music to a childhood dream. I felt like I was rediscovering something here. But I can see your cynical look: So how can this sort of eclecticism be comforting, you ask? It's a grown-up pop record - and I think the listener is looking for a healthy blend of reality and escape, nothing too brutalizing. Yaruss is the friend you get together with, have a beer, and the details of his day might remind you of something that happened similarly to you; he's observant, a keen listener, and he's capable of taking his time.

The musical gem, the absolute masterpiece of this album, is "Anywhere But Here" -- a strident piano-driven, 4-in-the-morning contemplation piece with the drum breaks and the swelling background vocals so perfectly locked into place. In a kinder world, I kid you not, this song would be covered by the likes of McCartney, Sinatra, Streisand, and anybody else you name with the range to carry it out; it's the sort of tune that sounds instantly familiar, instantly classic. Cards on the table: I played it about 5 times in a row when I first heard it, if that's any indicator.

So what about the title of this review, you ask? It's stolen from Yaruss himself from the song "Cosmic Confirmation" - a combination short-story and 4-panel cartoon rolled into one. But that's as far as I'm explaining; Jordan Yaruss worked way too hard for me to blow the punchline.

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If you liked Jordan Yaruss - The Circles, you will love The Hard Parts Pop Up, his newest project.

Buy it on iTunes! http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?playListId=206707957

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Reviews


to write a review

Cara Winter

POP-UP: Quirky, cool, and catchy.
POP-UP effortlessly fuses Beatles-inspired rock, quirky lyrics, and electronic instrumentals, creating a refreshingly original sound. At times it feels like Beck and They Might Be Giants wrote an album together, (without the bloodbath that such a union would undoubtedly give way to).

POP-UP is full of catchy, well-written songs, with an oddball, lone-wolf sensibility. Jordan Yaruss sings lead vocals with aplomb. While at times his vocals can sound tentative, it helps to express the humor and intelligence of the moment. Yaruss as a brilliant songwriter, lyrics or no lyrics. The instrumental pieces peppered throughout are thoughtful and moody, a great diversion from the central Quirk-Rock theme.

Overall, this album is worth a listen… more than that, it’s worth buying for your next road-trip, to spice up your iPod, or as a gift for those friends who are always complaining that no one is writing good music anymore. Subsequent spins will turn a casual listener into a fan, for sure.
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