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 Psych Pop Gems And Charming Waltzes: Rogers and Butler’s Brighter Day

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“Six feet apart or six feet underground, the choice is yours to make,” sings Edward Rogers on the title track leading off the new Rogers and Butler album. It’s a searing number that perfectly captures the predicament we’ve all found ourselves in for the last couple of years now. The commentary continues with the next track, “Where Does the World Hide?” A catchy guitar riff continues under Rogers’ verses while Sal Maida’s bass and Konrad Meissner’s drums keep things moving. This is Power Pop for the New World. An achingly gorgeous Steve Butler piano ballad follows, reminiscent of vintage Bee Gees. It’s perfectly arranged with a quartet of strings. Rogers again returns to his subject with “Learn to Live Again,” looking forward to a day when the pandemic is just a memory. Butler takes his turn with a Brit-psych/pop gem called “Marmalade Eyes” and then Rogers takes us to London’s Portobello Road on “A Perfect Market Day.”

The 2nd half begins with an Elvis Costello-ish (“Pumping Up”) raver called “Desire.” Rogers takes the spotlight on “Cabaret,” a charming waltz accompanied, appropriately, by Spanish guitar and accordion. George Harrison meets Ray Davies on an absolute stunner entitled, “The Sun Won’t Shine.”  This is the kind of song you can imagine the Kinks re-uniting with. “Oh Romeo” recalls early 70’s Rod Stewart with its bass drum and capoed acoustic guitars. “A Brand New Tomorrow” closes the set with some very Flamin’ Groovies riffs.

No sophomore jinx here. This is every bit as good as their first effort, Poets and Sinners. Two very different voices that complement each other as they trade lead vocal or blend in perfect harmony.  Rogers has had a knack for successful collaborations throughout his career, writing with people such as George Usher, John Dunbar, and Amanda Thorpe.

All these team-ups have yielded different, yet equally great results. Brighter Day is no exception.