Bill Retoff, Reanimation (Maize Records 2000) - Reanimation is a power pop delight from Bill Retoff. If you dig the Beatles, circa Revolver, or yearn for Cheap Trick or the long-forgotten Moon Martin, then Retoff is the man for you.
Retoff provides guitars, vocals and percussion and is joined by Rich Arithmetic on electric 12-string and rhythm guitar, Christopher Earl on guitars, Don Rosser on drums and bass guitar, and Dan McKenzie, who provides backing vocals and lead vocals on two songs (including "Did She Lie to You?").
Retoff stands at the center of the production, contributing lead vocals and backing vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, keyboards, sampled sounds, and percussion. The musicians recorded their part in different studios (including Washington, New York and Nepal) and the whole was assembled by Retoff at his psychedelic farmhouse in Illinois.
I listen to a lot of indie recordings, and need to find the hook, something to draw me into the album. And the hook on Reanimation is "Transformer Man," which has catchy harmonies and power pop jangle. Also listen for "When Myths Becomes Fact" and the concluding, "Magic Smile," all of which are built on Retoff's guitar-based pop sound.
Retoff apparently suffered the effects of a year-long battle with spinal meningitis and intestinal cancer. Says the artist, "Check out Psalm 23 sometime . . . I was in a tough spot once and what it says is true."
For a refreshing slice of power pop, delivered by a true fan, listen to Reanimation.
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