2011 marks a strong comeback for The Smithereens. In this day and age of instant and immediate information and gratification, The Smithereens have released and album full of seemingly effortless pop gems easily on par with the band’s most successful efforts. After repeated listenings I’m thinking 2011 has all the earmarks of being the best thing the band has done.
2011 is a tight and fulfilling collection of wonderful songs bound together by the fantastic production of Don Dixon producer of two of the Smithereens best albums 1986’s Especially For You and 1988’s Green Thoughts. The album’s engineer Mitch Easter is another 80’s pop legend whose voice can be heard in the album’s grooves. The Smithereens are a tight punchy power packed outfit with a solid rhythm section of drummer Dennis Diken and bassist Severo Jornacion. The thick bottom end lets Guitarist Jim Babjak lay down a variety of wonderful guitars ranging from jangle pop to classic power chording. His work is tasty, powerful and his strong contributions combined with Easter’s sugary production give the album some real texture and depth. Of course Pat Dinizio pours his cough syrupy vocals over the entire confection making 2011 a prime example of ear candy.
Does this all seem a little too glowing to be objective? You might be right to think such a thing, but this album stands up to repeated listens and proves itself a pop classic by working its way into all the nooks and crannies in your back brain. Stand out songs include the pre-release single “Sorry” as well as “Rings On Her Fingers,” the moody “Goodnight Goodbye,” and the outstanding “Viennese Hangover.” The track “Viennese Hangover” highlights everything great about his album with its strong songwriting, perfect ensemble performances and super tasty production touches.
So yeah, I’m most impressed and pleased to hear one of the great underrated bands from the 80’s bring the stuff in and with 2011. With this release The Smithereens reestablish their well respected place in the power pop world.
Get 2011 at Amazon