Album-opener “Jesus Was An Only Child” perfectly encapsulates Stringfellow’s use of shifting dynamics, opening with a lilting, strings- and organ-driven ode to childhood memories (“I grew up as just another capsule in life’s slow reentry/Burning up suburban atmosphere”) before morphing into an aggressive rocker about a filthy rich “numbers man” and dropping vague complaints about modern warfare.
The rest of the album is just as sonically and thematically diverse, moving from the countrified sway of “110 or 220 V” to an Electro Pop charmer like “Superwise” to the horn-laden R&B of “Pray” with impressive ease.
Of course, Stringfellow’s mastery of Pop songcraft should come as no surprise — the longtime Seattle resident/current Parisian is a frontman for The Posies, a longstanding Power Pop outfit whose additive powers are now near-legendary (1993’s Frosting on the Beater remains — or should remain — in the rotation of any self-respecting connoisseur of the genre).Then there are Stringfellow’s affiliations with Big Star and R.E.M.
(he’s recorded and toured with both over years), two more reminders that the guy just might know what he’s doing both on stage and off.
KEN STRINGFELLOW plays with Young Heirlooms Sunday, Feb. 10 at MOTR Pub in Over-the-Rhine. Check out performance times and get venue details here.