Pronto All Is Golden

Pronto All Is Golden
With the possible exception of Everclear's God awful "AM Radio," the brand of '70s pop rotated on the lesser bandwidths has been relegated to side-projects in lieu of more "serious" retro pursuits. Like the Long Winters and the Minus 5 before them, Pronto are finding new value in that decade's AOR pop fodder. The group are fronted by Wilco keyboard player Mikael Jorgensen, backed by members of Iron & Wine and Califone, amongst others. Despite Jorgensen's position in Wilco, All Is Golden is a pleasantly balanced affair, mixing key lines with drums, bass and guitars. And the group do an admirable job of blending sweet ballads ("Had & Have"), rockers ("I Think So") and pop genius ("When I'm On the Rocks") into a cohesive sound. All Is Golden was recorded around the same time Wilco placed a pop sheen on Sky Blue Sky, so it remains uncertain if Pronto are the result of Jeff Tweedy's influence on Jorgensen or vice versa. But the resulting product is proof positive that something good was going on in Chicago. (Contraphonic)