Jim Basnight — Not Changing
(Precedent Records no#, 2019, CD / DL)
by Jon Davis, Published 2020-02-02
“Power pop” is a genre with fairly fuzzy edges, and there are probably fans who argue about which artists are and are not properly labeled with it. I witnessed a discussion online recently about the difference between power pop and pop-punk. I didn’t take part, as it seemed a pointless distinction, but some people were really into trying to articulate what they saw as a real boundary. Be that as it may, Jim Basnight has been operating in the general area for decades with a series of bands in the Northwest and California — I first became aware of him with The Moberlys back in the mid- to late-80s. Not Changing is his newest solo release, and it’s a fine set of melodic tunes that rock in distinctly non-metal ways, often have a hint of country, and are basically just fun to hear. Backed by Garey Shelton (bass) and Dave Warburton (drums), Basnight contributes electric and acoustic guitars on 14 tunes ranging from rootsy to more rocking. He wrote all the tracks, with collaborators on a few, and they cover a variety of topics from personal to social. Fans of songwriters like John Hiatt, Nick Lowe, and Matthew Sweet and bands like Big Star or Teenage Fanclub will find much to enjoy here in the catchy melodies and jangly guitars. Not Changing is testimony to the enduring appeal of smart tunes played well, and to the proposition that there’s still room for creativity in styles that have been around for a while.
Related artist(s): Jim Basnight
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