Owen Marchildon aka Purple Hill on his recent album Top 40 Radio Memory Dream (Oh Yeah!) sounds like a combination of Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and The War On Drugs with a tinge of punk. The music contains a classic Americana rock sound that feels nostalgic and timeless. Marchildon’s music revolves around the standard rock setup of guitar, bass and drums. At the end of the day that’s all you really need if you are good songwriter. Suffice it say it doesn’t need any extra layers of sounds to make these songs work.
The album kicks off with “Sweat Out The Take Out” which contains a good amount of visceral energy. Marchildon succeeds at making simple yet effective instrumental parts but it’s ultimately his vocals with this song (and many others that make them unique). You can actually hear what he is saying and his familiar sounding yet slightly off-kilter voice is easy to enjoy.
On top of that his lyrics are unpretentious and often on the verge of comical. The song is about vanity and narcissism. Lines like “Baby's looking to the mirror again with the Turbo Fire abs now Baby wants to talk about it” and “Sweat out the Take out, skinny skinny gonna make her scream and shout” made me giggle.
The second track “Through Your Nightmares” has some punk rock flavor that is stirred into blue-collar rock. His lyrics are top notch on this and encourage you to follow along. “Being Young (Like It's So Far Behind Them)” utilizes clean guitars and atmosphere. Marchildon may very well give his best vocal performance on this track. His voice contains a good amount of urgency and emotion that is appealing.
There is no lack of comedy in the title track where Marchildon mentions Justin Bieber a number of times. The line “she caught a strong dose of Bieber fever oh yeah and when she grows old she'll hit his reunion show” was pure gold. “At The 24th Hour” is actually about the TV show 24. He mentions Jack Bauer while at the same time implementing some of his most infectious melodies.
Top 40 Radio Memory Dream (Oh Yeah!) doesn't take itself too seriously and that's one of the reasons it is a treat to listen to. Besides that the music itself is quite good. Marchildon is having a fun time making music and that feeling is felt throughout the duration of the album.
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