Dan Potthast Sweets and Meats

California singer-songwriter Dan Potthast’s sophomore solo release is so fun and catchy that it’s easy to ignore the braininess of his musical and lyrical offerings. Each of the 15 tracks here are based around a poppy vocal melody and an acoustic guitar progression but Potthast spices things up with rolling drums, dashes of Hammond organ and Rhodes piano and early Lennon-McCartney-esque vocal harmonies. The lyrical subject matter ranges from men in Speedos to the Pope to teen pregnancy, and it’s all sung in an ironically earnest fashion. Potthast is equally adept at bouncing around musically, handling country-rock, white-reggae, Neutral Milk Hotel-esque bedroom ballads and straightforward rock’n’roll with equal aplomb. Potthast’s songwriting captures the warm and sunny feel of his home state and the record goes down smoother than a melting popsicle. (Independent)