The Pop Project – Stars of Stage and Screen (2008)
purchase this album (Suburban Sprawl)

Oh God, yes.

I don’t know how I’ve managed to remain ignorant of this band up ’til now — this is their fourth album — but it doesn’t matter. All that matters now is that the Pop Project and I have found each other, and we are deeply in love.

Stars of Stage and Screen was five years in the making, and its prolonged gestation is reflected in the meticulous craft of the arrangements — producer Andy Thompson has covered every song with a delicious layer of honey and powdered sugar to complement the band’s love for ringing guitars, touches of brass, new wave-y keyboards, and (of course) the requisite stacks of glorious, glorious vocal harmonies.

Though some tracks, like “Coerce,” carry a heavy early ’80s vibe, Stars of Stage and Screen manages to run the power pop gamut in its dozen tracks, from the snarky “Secondary Players” to the heart-on-sleeve laments of “Never Got the Breaks” and “Someone Who Would Understand.” All of it is 100% awesome — and speaking of awesome, my favorite song right now is this album’s “Totally Awesome” (download).

I could go on for paragraphs, but you get the point. If you’ve ever purchased an album from Not Lame…if you’ve ever owned one of the Yellow Pills compilations…if names like Gladhands and Tommy Keene mean something to you…then you need to have The Pop Project’s Stars of Stage and Screen. Break out your wallet and get ready to sing along.