Richard Swift – The Atlantic Ocean (CD)

Richard Swift has the sound, voice and influences an artist who’s been around for at least the past three decades. Lyrically, you have to go all the way back to Harry Nilsson and Randy Newman in the 70’s to find an appropriate contemporary and his music picks up where Jeff Lyne left off, boasting a brilliant knack for weaving literate pop sounds that go down smooth.

It’s shocking then to realize Swift has only been putting out solo discs for the past five years or so (though they’ve been an extremely prolific five years), after spending time on keyboards for Starflyer 59. Swift’s latest, The Atlantic Ocean finds the musician in top form. Nearly a dozen quirky, sun baked pop songs, with a touch of California psychedelic thrown in, each nearly as infectious as the next.

Though Atlantic Ocean sounds like it could easily be a long lost Jellyfish record, it is still distinctly Richard Swift. Here’s hoping it’s just the latest in a very long career.

Top tracks: “The Original Thought,” “Already Gone,” and “The End of An Age”

Ratings: 8.9 out of 10

Richard Swift – The Atlantic Ocean/CD/2009/11 tracks/Secretly Canadian Records/www.myspace.com/richardswift

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