Friday, April 12, 2013

Review: Parthenon Huxley - Thank You Bethesda

Parthenon Huxley and I go way back.

Okay, maybe he doesn't know that, but I still remember being a young man starving for new sounds and first hearing his music on the late lamented WMRY in St. Louis way back in the late 1980's. When I picked up and chowed down on that album (Sunny Nights) I remember thinking to myself, "Why aren't there more albums like this?" So, in a very real way, coming across Parthenon Huxley's music led me towards the music I've spent the better part of 30 years devouring. I'm still ravenously hungry. But that is alright, because Mr. Huxley has recently been obliging with a new tasty pop morsel. (And thus endeth the extended food analogy.)

 If you are already familiar with Huxley, Thank You Bethesda will provide you with everything you expect from one of his records: melodic tune follows melodic tune and Huxley's unique guitar work crackles from your speakers. Add unexpected quirky twists and sharp insightful lyrics that keep you singing along and the result is a top notch effort.

"Angeleno" follows in the footsteps of earlier Huxley tracks ("Compromise" off of Sunny Nights and "California" off of the P. Hux release Deluxe) in offering a take on the show business world of the West Coast, though this time around its a bit more sardonic and sounds conspicuously like a goodbye. "Beautiful" is a tune that lives up to its title. "Luckiest Man" is a classic Huxley ballad filled with pop hooks that grips a listener in the first three seconds and doesn't let go.

"Love is the Greatest Thing" is a terrific slice of 1980's style pop/rock anthem songwriting and recording, and a wonderful reminder of why an artist may want to go that route every once in awhile. Besides, I'm always likely to go along with a song that begins with the lyric, "I wanna believe The Beatles, they mean so much to me." Yes. Hell, yes.

Add in a super fun revisiting of the Huxley classic "Buddha, Buddha" and you've got an album which will cause anyone to go back for seconds.

Grade: A-/A

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