Reviews of "Vegas With Randolph - Above The Blue"

"Sheer power pop perfection.. Incredibly articulate, poetic wordplay informs each line. Not one thought or sentiment is wasted.. This is blissful pop songwriting at its finest.. It's thinking man's party music."
Michael Lidskin, Twirl Radio August 31, 2011

"One of the coolest pure pop/power pop records of 2011... VWR play the type of music that made me fall in love with power pop in the first place: sticky-sweet melodies that sound as if you've been pals with 'em for years, guitars that crunch, palpable energy and a big helping of fun...It's all pretty wonderful, but the standouts to these ears are the absolutely irresistible "Wondering" and the ridiculously hooky "Marisa." Grade: A-"
John Borack, Goldmine Magazine, April 2012

"A stellar second LP... stone-washed velvet vocals... stunning bass... well-judged pieces combine superbly... These guys are very strong songwriters. Containing sufficient effervescence to sit well in the album, the listener is not short-changed."
Tim Whale, indiebandsblog.com

"VWR has been known to hit that kind of tough balance Fountains of Wayne does in their best stuff: ironic self-deprecation without sneering... Probably my favorite VWR song is the sublimely energized "Some Time to Live". As soon as I heard this song, I immediately went out and bought everything they've released."
Mary E Donnelly, Powerpop.blogspot.com

"Comparisons to Fountains of Wayne are inevitable: strong melodies, well-thought-out vocal harmonies, middling tempos, clever lyrics, high-octane guitars... But Vegas With Randolph does more than just deliver rock-and-wry on Above the Blue... the album is successful on any number of levels, suggesting that it will wear well on repeated listens. Vegas With Randolph is a band to watch."
Bill Kopp, Musoscribe, September, 2011

"This is a band with well-honed musical chops. Tight melodies, chiming guitars, precision drumming and appealing vocals are all evident... Overall, this is a well-produced, enjoyable disc by a talented addition to the music scene."
Michael Coleman, On Tap Magazine, October 2011

"Years ago Rolling Stone ran an April Fool's story about a band named Guitar which consisted of Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, and Jimi Hendrix. If that band existed it might sound like Vegas with Randolph... There are inventive guitar licks all over this thing, and they rock like Paul Collins... every song here has good bones, interesting change-ups, and hooks."
Mike Barron, PopGeekHeaven.com October 25, 2011

"This record exceeds in both the power and the pop part of it and takes cues from all of the masters: Beatles, Kinks, Byrds, Beach Boys, The Hollies, etc. ...ebullient, unabashed power pop …(VWR) outdid themselves here and though Above The Blue was released this past summer, it's really essential listening for ANY season."
Tim Hinely, www.daggerzine.com October 10, 2011

"If ever a band took the banner of power pop and flew with it, it's Vegas With Randolph... Above The Blue is an excellent album without a wasted note, that hits every mood you could possibly have."
Aaron Kupferberg, Powerpopaholic.com, August 2011

"Going from horn-based rave-up to acoustic interlude to straight-up power pop, Vegas With Randolph remain masters of the medley, and the Abbey Road-style album experience is not to be dismissed in the era of the iPod."
Absolute Powerpop.com August 2011

"Cracking power pop from start to finish, I am playing the album now for the umpteenth time and I don't see that abating anytime soon... well crafted, catchy tunes, great vocal arrangements, a nod to some of our heroes in the world of power pop and certainly a band to keep your eye on. Of course with every upside to a band there has to be a downside and in Vegas With Randolph's case, the downside is you need to buy two cds: one for the home and one for the car."
Wayne Lundqvist Ford,The Ice Cream Man Power Pop and More, January 6, 2012

"I'm looking back on what I've been listening to over the fall and see that, overwhelmingly, it's centered on 2 CDs: the breathtaking Sky Full of Holes, and Vegas with Randolph's Above the Blue. If we define the parameters of power pop as being, roughly, Big Star on one end and the Ramones on the other (and I'd claim both of them, though there's obviously a ton of debate to have on the relative positioning) then VWR really runs the gamut, with "Tree Song" on one end and "Some Time to Live" on the other. But they're not just adhering to the formula, there are some genuinely clever lyrical moves in some of these songs and some terrific, understated stylistic flourishes as well. (For example, you know that moment in Fountains of Wayne's "Mexican Wine," at the end of the first verse, where Chris Collingwood says, almost under his breath, "Yep"? Well, in VWR's "Supergirl," there's a similar moment when, blown away by the hot girl in the next car, left behind at a stoplight, John Ratts whispers a single, awed "Damn." I love that kind of thing.)

What I take to be side two of the CD aspires to an almost operatic scope, in the mode of--okay, I'll go there--side two of Abbey Road. They call it "Double Play," the six songs vary in length from :30 ("Alone") to 3:09 ("Even Though"), and all together tell the story of a far-from-perfect relationship and its aftermath. (One particularly vivid moment occurs in "End of the Party," where the obviously ambivalent, but stoically-trying-to-talk-himself-into-it protagonist, says "you've got something I can't deny/ you get the quarter in the cup every single time." I've been at that party; have you?)

I saw and met VWR at the beginning of this month, when they played IPO in New York. They were really tight, pulling off harmonies completely without monitors and playing a taut, intense set. Live, Brock Harris's guitar rips even more than it does on the recordings, and his liberal use of the pick-slide touches my geeky little heart. Nice guys, too. In short, Above the Blue is highly recommended. Enjoy it with your Lagavulin!"
Mary E. Donelley, Powerpop.blogspot.com November 25, 2011

Reviews of "Vegas With Randolph - Vegas With Randolph"

"A pop delight. Reminiscent at times of other multi-fronted power pop groups (Fastball, Sloan) as well as Willie Wisely and Fountains of Wayne, the result is a left-field surprise that deserves attention in the power pop community...There are plenty of standouts...This one touches all the power pop bases."
Absolute Powerpop.com

"They approach the music with a smart enthusiasm reminiscent of Fountains of Wayne and early Joe Jackson... an excellent value for your musical dollar."

"The brilliant, hook-filled debut from this band from the Washington DC area...In these parts, we call that a "home run"! GREAT!!!!"
Kool Kat Musik.com

"An extremely strong, out of nowhere debut from this Washington DC power pop band...VERY, VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED and a band that is going to be around for some time bringing pleasure to music fans like you and me"
Bruce Brodeen, NotLame.com

"Easy, catchy pop rock... all the songs possess the quality that, no matter how hard you try, you just have to tap your foot and bob your head, ala "That Thing You Do."
Robert Fulton, On Tap Magazine

"They produce strong pop music that rocks... this is a fresh band that people can get behind. A talent in pop/rock that does not come too often, and rarely from the major labels."
The Independent Music Scene.com

"Their self-titled debut album has quickly become a favorite for me after just one listen....It’s pretty easy to see why they have been compared to the likes of Fastball...if you are anything like me and like those modern bands that keep the 60’s influences alive and well then you will love this too."
JK, Guestlistmagazine.net

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