Bodega Without A Plan

Toronto's Andrew Rodriguez emerges slowly from around the major label boulder he was hidden behind a couple of years ago with this low key but not lo-fi affair, produced by Mercury Rev bassist Dave Fridmann. Fridmann, a well known dreamscape spinner, proves the perfect foil for Rodriguez, who dresses his catchier pop tendencies with fleshier musical explorations that fill out Without A Plan beautifully. By melting together the epic ambition of the Rev with a desire to hang each song on a hook, Rodriguez at times lands squarely in Spiritualized territory, albeit without the 100-piece orchestra. Like a friend really worth knowing, Without A Plan doesn't give up its delicious secrets easily, but the resulting relationship is well worth investing the time. (Independent)