Richard Reagh Is This The Blues I'm Singing?

If you want to learn to play pop music, you have to go to the land of pop music. Although which country currently holds this title is always up for debate, let’s just assume by the increasing interest in its music scene that it is Sweden. This may explain why 38-year-old Vancouverite Richard Reagh emigrated to a small village outside of Stockholm and after hanging with local scensters, has come up with his own little take on experimental pop called Is This The Blues I’m Singing? Unlike anything coming out of the country at the moment, the album is, on one hand, a charismatic display of brash indie guitars mixed with ’80s synths played over one-liners lifted from everything from Barry Manilow’s "Copacabana” to "Luka.” Some of the songs, as well as Reagh’s nonplussed, dry delivery remind you of a more danceable Hot Chip, albeit with beats that change, or even a Ween experiment that has yet to see the light of day. Contrary to these songs are the spare acoustic numbers, such as his collaboration with El Perro de Mar on Neil Young’s "Hangin’ On A Limb.” It sounds like the two side of Reagh would make for an uneven listen but the songs are nicely placed, making for a rewarding peek into yet another facet of a varied musical culture. (Border Community)