I'm not quite sure what the bizarre combination of a Hanson brother, a former Smashing Pumpkin and two power pop veterans should sound like, but it clearly shouldn't be forgettable. Still, on their debut LP the unlikely supergroup - comprised of popster Taylor Hanson, one-time Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha, Cheap Trick drummer Bun E. Carlos and Fountains of Wayne bassist Adam Schlesinger - manages to get through 11 tracks without making much of an impact. The group employs a straightforward power pop formula that sometimes hits the mark, but as a whole leaves you wishing for more to sink your teeth into. Hanson's exuberant vocals are well suited to this sort of relentlessly upbeat pop and the guitars sound meaty and satisfying, but most of the material simply can't keep up. Lead off tracks "Kind of a Girl" and "Messing With My Head" are instantly catchy power pop-by-the-numbers, and the rest of the album follows suit. The only problem is that most of it isn't very memorable. Songs such as "Without Love" and "Cha Cha" are bright, sunny fun, and "Nothing to Me" makes use of a very cool riff that brings to mind Badfinger and Big Star, but unfortunately the record doesn't offer anything that a power pop fan's stacks of well-loved vinyl can't already provide in greater quality. Hardcore fans of the genre and anyone who has closely followed any of the band's members will likely find something to appreciate about Tinted Windows, but most probably won't find it to be an essential addition to their collections.
Tinted Windows will play a sold out show April 30 at Double Door.