Instantly Memorable

Tangerine (Tallulah! Records)

David Mead

By Kory Wilcoxson

"I've got a name that's hard to remember," sings David Mead on "Hard to Remember." Granted, his name isn't one that epoxies itself in your mind, but his music has a much better chance of sticking with you.

Mead's style is theatrical without ever being too showy. Even the circus organ on "Hard to Remember" fits in with the off-kilter XTC-like sound of the song. Mead is equal parts Andrew Lloyd Weber ("Suddenly, A Summer Night" would make a great Act Two tear-jerker) and early Billy Joel (there a distinct "bottle of red, bottle of white" feel to "Making It Up Again").

On Tangerine, Mead offers a wide display of his talents that move from the sublime pop of "Hallelujah, I Was Wrong" to more pensive pieces like "Choosing Teams" and the especially wonderful "Reminded #1," with an a capella delivery that showcases Mead's smooth vocal ability.

Despite his vanilla moniker, Mead does a good job of making himself stand out, from his smokestack hairdo to his inventive arrangements. The joy of Tangerine comes from the fact that every square inch of the music seems to fit within Mead's exaggerated persona. The fact that he backs that persona up with talent and flair only adds to the flavor of Tangerine.

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