Chris Scanlon

Powerpopaholic.com

Northampton, MA based Chris Scanlon is a pop guitarist with a knack for both pop and folk that he displays on his debut "U-Turn." The theme here is re-visiting your past and if you are a New Jersey native like Scanlon, that's just a bonus to the plot line here. Opening up with the acoustic guitar strum of "Marianas Trench" it brings to mind a little bit of Bruce Hornsby's rhythm. This leads to the playful "Fish Daddy" which draws you in with fiddle and hand claps, and Scanlon's vocals approach the chorus with great enthusiasm, like a campfire hoedown. Another standout, "Jersey Boy" is a pretty cool autobiographical song with some nice guitar and horn work.The slower ballads are also well done ("Matawan" and "This House") and have a passing resemblance to another Jersey boy, Bruce Springsteen (they actually met up a few times). Scanlon gets pretty inventive on "My Name is Chaka" with it's scat and funky bass, and it's my favorite song on the album. The next few songs, "Punk Rock Girl" and "Cousin Stinky" have an eighties power pop sound, like 20/20 or Paul Collins' Beat. These are decent songs, but don't have the energy and spirit of the earlier tracks, and the latter tracks on the album "My Mother's House" and title track slow things down again, it showcases Scanlon's soulful croon. Fans of adult contemporary singer/songwriter pop will enjoy this one quite a bit. 8 out of 10