the music's the thing

From Your Window (Black Vinyl)
Herb Eimerman

By Allen Howie

There are always a few artists who manage to make great music is spite of a lack of lyrical depth. After all, "Love Me Do" never set the literary world on fire, but it sat comfortably atop the pop charts for weeks on end. Bands like Boston and the Ramones have always been easier to enjoy if you disregard their lyrics and listen, letting the momentum of the music carry you past any lyrical shortfall.

Herb Eimerman's new record, From Your Window, falls into this category: lyrically slight but musically sublime. Supported by Midwest power pop-meisters the Shoes, whose own Black Vinyl label distributes the record, Eimerman has put together thirteen songs whose melody and performance boost them up and over any lyrical limitations.

Fueled by soaring harmonies and ringing guitars, these tunes thumb through the Sixties pop catalog. Echoes of bands from the Beatles and the Byrds to the Hollies and the Turtles abound, especially on standout cuts like the effervescent "Never Say Never," as catchy a song as you've heard this year, and the McGuinn-style ballad "More Today Than Yesterday" (okay, so original titles aren't his long suit, either). Stubbornly melodic, these songs suggest what Buddy Holly might sound like if he were alive today.

Oddly enough, the record falters on the title track, whose verses strain too hard to conjure up the Cars' springy sound, but even this tune snaps back into focus in the chorus. From the feathery caress of "Walk Right Back" to the Badfinger buzz of "Don't Stop," Eimerman mines his source material with confidence and originality, finding rich new veins at every turn. The result is a real gem of a record, one which deserves a place in any pop collection.