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The Major Labels

Aquavia | Self-released
By ZETH LUNDY  |  August 4, 2008
4.0 4.0 Stars
080808_majorlabelsINSIDEYou can play Spot the Beatles throughout this one: in 37 minutes, the Major Labels (East Coast ex-pats Bleu, Mike Viola, and Ducky Carlisle) mimic horns with their voices, take a music-hall detour, reprise their own themesong, and toss winks at “Blackbird,” “You Know My Name (Look Up the Number),” and Abbey Road’s B-side. But that’s only the start of it. As their name implies, the Major Labels (or the “Major Labes,” as they call themselves in song, dutifully fitting their shout-outs into rhyme and meter) plant their tongues in the cheek of pop miscellanea. Aquavia is full of songs about making music and loving it, about musical obsession and disillusionment, about girls singing in the shower and guys playing in Aerosmith cover bands. It’s both the meta-power-pop album of the year and the most inspired record that Bleu and Viola have made in years. From the stuttering bash ’n’ pop of “Jimmy Kenney” to the lightheaded ballad “Velveteen Queen,” the trio weld goofball charm with homespun arena-rock warm-ups, summoning ’70s-era McCartney and Cheap Trick. “Sometimes a song can change your life,” they testify on “Don’t Hear a Single,” clearly indebted to what made them, but ready to return the favor. (Aquavia is available as a pay-what-you-want download via or on CD at
  Topics: CD Reviews , The Beatles , Ducky Carlisle , Zeth Lundy ,  More more >
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