Jamie And Steve | The Next Big Thing

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The Beatles The Spongetones XTC

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Rock: British Invasion Pop: Beatles-pop Moods: Type: Vocal
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The Next Big Thing

by Jamie And Steve

This 6-song EP is their 2nd studio effort together-aside from playing and writing together for 30+ as two original members of NC's Brit-power-pop band --The Spongetones. Influences- XTC, The Beatles and Todd Rundgren.
Genre: Rock: British Invasion
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Seaside Sparrow
2:36 album only
clip
2. Can We Start Again, Girl?
4:17 album only
clip
3. Dancing On Ice
4:23 album only
clip
4. Half A Mind
3:25 album only
clip
5. Over My Head
4:02 album only
clip
6. The Next Big Thing
3:16 album only

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Steve Stoeckel began playing guitar during the British Invasion of the 60’s and was hugely influenced by the bands of that period, especially the Beatles. After hearing Sgt. Pepper for the first time, he chose the bass guitar as his main instrument and began playing professionally in the early 70’s. In 1979, he was asked to join a band that would establish a reputation for spot-on covers of Beatle songs: The Spongetones. 30 years later, this same band has 12 CD releases of original power pop tunes that garner rave reviews internationally. Stoeckel’s songwriting, singing, and playing (bass, guitar, and ukulele) have been major contributions to all these recordings.

Jamie Hoover, also an avid Beatles fan, was a natural choice for The Spongetones’ beginnings as a cover band. However Hoover was also a recording engineer and producer. He became the driving force, pushing the band to record a body of original works that earned its stellar standing in pop music today. Hoover is also a prolific singer-songwriter, and has a significant number of Spongetones songs to his credit, both as a solo writer and as a co-writer with Stoeckel. His instruments include guitar, bass, keyboards, ukulele, mandolin, drums and percussion.

Hoover has recorded and produced many other artists and has also toured with The Smithereens, Hootie and the Blowfish, Graham Parker, and Don Dixon, among others.

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Reviews


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Cyber Chick

One of the best power pop releases of 2011 !
This EP by Jamie Hoover and Steve Stoeckel (one half of the power pop band, The Spongetones) is the follow up to English Afterthoughts and is their 2nd studio duo effort. The EP features six really strong pop tunes with not a single bit of fluff! Every song is good enough to stand on its own and features the tight Jamie & Steve signature harmonies.

The EP starts with Seaside Sparrow, which is actually two songs in one: The lightness of Steve's sweet tenor vocals and uke are overlaid with Jamie's unsettling song of uncertainty. The song is a new direction for them and is probably one of the best things they've ever done.

Can We Start Again, Girl? is just a really great piece of pop music, and Dancing on Ice is a nice poetic metaphor. Over My Head is a sweet love ballad that truly blew me away (and I don't typically like love ballads).

Half A Mind is another light/dark number with Jamie and Steve's parts playing against each other. My first reaction to this one was "Wow!" A fun animated video of this one can be found on YouTube. Just search for "Jamie and Steve Half a Mind".

The EP ends with The Next Big Thing, a playful tune that features thundering drums and rides out to an overall great ending.

Lyrics to all the songs can be found on the official Jamie and Steve web site, www.JamieAndSteve.net

The only negative thing I can say about this EP is that it's too short and leaves me wanting more. I rate this CD as one of the best releases of 2011. If you like the Beatles and/or XTC, you will love this EP and won't be disappointed.
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Agent J

Sophisticated Songwriting in 3 Minute Chunks
First off, truth in advertising: I've been a Spongetones fan for decades - even before I knew who the band was. (It's a long story. Another time.) So it stands to reason that, as a Spongetones fan, I'd like this slice of power-pop perfection from Messrs. Hoover and Stoeckel as well. And you, dear reader, if you've made it this far, probably know about the Spongetones - in which case, stop reading this and buy the dang CD.

For the uninitiated: these guys are anglophiles in the best way - Mersey beat, close harmonies, vintage 1965 jangly guitar pop afficionados. But that's merely a touchstone, a starting point. Take the harmonies of the Hollies, the muscular guitar rock of the early Stones, throw in a dose of Badfinger and XTC, then filter it all through the Beatles, and you begin to get an idea of where they're coming from. Oh, and ukeleles.

"Seaside Sparrow" juxtaposes delicate finger-picked uke against thunderous drums in a light vs. dark back-and-forth narrative. "Can We Start Again, Girl" is straight-ahead power pop - play it loud in your car and try to keep from smiling. "Dancing On Ice" offers the kind of melodic sophistication that is (sadly) seldom heard anymore (ending the chorus vocal on a 9th chord?! seriously). "Half A Mind" reminds me of They Might Be Giants: quirky, playful, and more of the delicate vs. thunder heard earlier. "Over My Head" is a (not so) Silly Love Song (and what's wrong with that, I'd like to know?). The title song wraps things up with the pair's trademark close harmonies.

As others have said, my only complaint is that it left me wanting more. Surely there is more to come...
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