Sparrow The Early Years

Not exactly an accurate title, since this is the latest bunch of songs from Jason Zumpano, formerly of the band that bore his name that he co-founded with the New Pornographers’ Carl Newman. Unlike his two earlier releases, the sound on The Early Years is more solidified, and has a bit more kick, falling nicely in between the power pop sounds of Zumpano, and his quieter previous solo work. Lucy Brain’s vocals work impressively well alongside Zumpano’s, and the brass and string accompaniments shine. There are unique qualities in his songs that make them stand out from other indie pop fare, and "I Wouldn’t Mind” has outstanding pop hooks that even rival the work of his former band-mate Newman. The energy level does back off on tracks like "Gone” and the opener "Flower,” but for the most part these are catchy, upbeat anthems to sip lemonade on a sunny day to. (Absolutely Kosher)