Fred Go God Go

Fred Go God Go
First impressions always stick, and if you've never heard of Fred before, album opener "Skyscrapers," with its handclaps, tambourine and singer Joseph's layered funky falsetto, will almost certainly endear the Irish pop-tarts to you forever. This album has all the fresh vibrancy of a debut, and yet it's the band's third proper release, a fact that is given away only by the solid production and tight songwriting. They're not afraid to go overboard on the backing vocals, which is pretty rare these days, and recall the spirit of '60s pop, with some jazzy brass thrown in for good measure. Despite the fact that on "Keep Me Clear" they sound ridiculously like the Carpenters, this is fun, easy-going music that makes me feel as jovial as Hot Hot Heat does - that kind of carefree summer feeling that goes perfectly with ice cream. (Sparks)