Press | (May 3, 1988)

Milwaukee Journal May 3, 1988
by Thor Christensen

Snappy, crackly pop bands are often viewed as laughingstocks of the rock world. But what the anti-pop crowd seems to forget is that from Buddy Holly to the Beatles, some of rock's most memorable music has come out of frothy pop songs.

With that firmly in mind, Pat McCurdy and the Confidentials declare themselves pop and proud of it on "The Good Life!" (self-released; cassette only). And like the best of rock's pop masters, the local quartet takes a few catchy choruses and simple melodies and weaves them into something almost magical.

When vocalist McCurdy and his gang hit their stride ("How," "Stranger in a Strange Land" and the sitar-driven "I Should Have Loved Her More"), the songs recall the intoxicating power-pop of Cheap Trick (before it went limp). Even on half-baked songs, where McCurdy has nothing more than a hook to work with, "The Good Life!" is still unusually infectious. "The Good Life!" ends with McCurdy's solo version of "Top of the World," a magnificent folk-pop ditty that hints that McCurdy's range may be expanding.