III features cleaner production and sharper song structures than Hanlon's previous two releases, and the songs are hookier, too. She's written odes to childhood treats and the soft moments that buoy the hearts of tuff kids: washing away your sins with shampoo; lovers that speak their minds; the joys of running naked into the ocean with your sweetheart. Highlights include current single "Plastic Love," the beachiest heartbreak tune since Bleached's "Searching Through the Past," the surprisingly heartfelt "Princess Castle," which pays loving homage to Super Mario Brothers and a completely faithful cover of the Sailor Moon theme song (yessss!).
Album closer "Please Come Home" embodies the best things about this record: it explores very real feelings of longing and desire with a chiming and irresistible purity. Clocking in at just barely 20 minutes, III is endlessly replayable and filled with garage-pop gems. There's a new drug, and it's called Peach Kelli Pop. (Burger Records)