This was my second Dusting Off feature for hmv.com/ca (my first was a loving reassessment of Martha and the Muffins‘ classic album This is the Ice Age). As you might imagine, these are a lot of fun to write, as it involves a) revisiting an album that maybe you haven’t heard in a long time, b) bringing attention to a record that people may have forgotten about and c) not trying to come up with something pithy to say about a new record that everyone else is writing even more pithily about anyway.
While I’ve listened to This is the Ice Age periodically over the years, writing the piece on the Pursuit of Happiness‘s 1988 album Love Junk meant going back to a record I haven’t heard for probably 20 years! It was surprising how many songs I remembered, particularly my (still) favourite, “Walking in the Woods”, which has a bit more of an edge to it than the rest of the album’s more power-pop-type material.
Two decades later, I was/am struck by Todd Rundgren‘s production, which strikes a perfect balance between a crunchy guitar sound and poppy harmony and background vocals. I was also surprised by how many good lines are on this record, especially on the hit single “I’m an Adult Now”: “I don’t write about girls anymore/I write about women/No more boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl/More like, man tries to understand what the hell went wrong.”
Funny to think how singer/songwriter Moe Berg was already singing about the responsibilities of adulthood at 29. I wonder what an update would sound like.
You can read the piece at hmv.com/ca. And check out the accompanying Love Junk-era photo of the band – with Rundgren – and provided by Berg himself.