Papas Fritas
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
Papas Fritas , 6/10
Helioself , 5/10
Buildings And Grounds , 6/10

Papas Fritas is a trio from Boston led by singer/guitarist Tony Goddess. They debuted with the single Friday Night (Sunday Driver, 1994). The album Papas Fritas (Minty Fresh, 1995) better defined the band's personality at the border between power-pop, folk-rock and noise-rock (Modern Lovers, Dinosaur Jr). Bouncy and catchy melodic hooks propel Lame To Be, TV Movies, Possibilities, while humble arrangements enhance the warm and tender feeling. The chamber lied of Passion Play and the eight-minute long Radio Days add depth to the joyful naivete of the musicians.

Helioself (Minty Fresh, 1997) is a far more professional and studied effort. Songs like Just To See You, We've Got All Night, Hey Hey You Say and Captain Of The City are carefully engineered, multitracked products that compete with Apples In Stereo's cheesy ditties. But drummer Shivika Ashtana steals the show in Sing About Me, half way between the Supremes and the Go-Go's.

The growing influence of Fleetwood Mac's soft-rock marrs Buildings And Grounds (Minty Fresh, 2000), a bombastic (for their standards) shot at the charts with slower, minor-key ballads like I Believe In Fate crooned by Goddess as in a male imitation of Stevie Nicks. Donna Coppola on keyboards and Chris Colthart on guitar help expand the sound towards a more atmospheric ambience. Ashtana shines in the trip-hoppy centerpieces: People Say, Far From An Answer and It's Over Now. Vertical Lives and What I Am Supposed To Do are the last vestiges of their old power-pop style. Way You Walk, Another Day, Girl and Questions are catchy, naive, romantic ditties. Closer Lost in a Dream best summarizes the duo's philosophy.

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