BY MICHAEL TOLAND
Four years since Paul Collins declared himself The King of Powerpop, the former Beat frontman returns with Feel the Noise, his second record since re-devoting himself to the genre he helped pioneer. Power pop often celebrates simplicity, with basic boy/girl lyrics married to hooky guitar melodies and a joie de vivre attitude. Collins is certainly a traditionalist in that respect – even 35 years after the Beat’s first LP he’s still writing songs with titles like “With a Girl Like You,” “Can’t Get You Off Mind” and “Baby I’m in Love With You.”
Indeed, it’s a bit of a drag that he doesn’t push himself a little further outside of his comfort zone – surely in nearly four decades he’s developed some more sophisticated interests (outside of the cover of the Four Tops’ “Reach Out I’ll Be There”). That said, Collins certainly sounds not only comfortable but genuinely happy performing these simple tunes. Feel the Noise may not be the most mature record on the block, but, like a self-aware second childhood, it’s a record that finds its joy in holding onto to a youthful spirit.
DOWNLOAD: “Feel the Noise,” “Baby I’m in Love With You,” “Reach Out I’ll Be There”