Whatever happened to good, honest pop music? Three-minute tunes with melodies that burrowed into your brain and wouldn't leave for weeks on end? Hooks and harmonies that had you singing along (even if you sing a little off key)?
It turns out pop music is alive and well. Case in point: "Left at the Prom," the latest offering from the New Haven-based quartet Green Inside.
"Left at the Prom" might initially conjure up memories of pure popsters such as the Gin Blossoms or Counting Crows. But a few listens show that Green Inside has a few more tricks up its sleeve than the run-of-the-mill jingle-janglers.
Check out the Steely Dan chords (and guitar solo) on "Shallow Stuff" or the complex stop-and-start rhythms weaving throughout "Tuesday." The ballads - "Sorry" and "Day in the Sun" - are so good that you won't feel guilty for liking them. The band even pulls off a seemingly unholy union of reggae and country - "These Days" - that would be right at home on a Counting Crows record. And of course, you'll find irresistible choruses on the likes of "Promise" and "Everything Is Wrong."
These aren't just three-chord tunes you hear from your average bar band. But while Green Inside has the musical chops to explore challenging directions, the band's smart enough to keep the songs accessible, fun and catchy. And isn't that the point of pop music?