BIG DIPPER: Crashes on the Platinum Planet: CD

Must confess that, though I’ve known of their existence for quite some time, I don’t think I’ve ever actually heard Big Dipper—and if I have, I have no recollection of the experience whatsoever. This is their back-in-the-saddle release since reforming in 2007, its predecessor dating back to 1990, and I gotta say, it’s both a throwback and a hoot of a listen. In an era when pop songs are created by cabals more interested in marketability and maximizing profits than “art,” this is some dandy pure-strain alt-pop. The quality of the work is evident, starting with the fact that each of the twelve songs sounds different from the next (jeez, what a novel concept!); that it features performances that shimmer with sincerity and is rife with creative hooks; and is not ProTooled into faceless corporate compliance. All of this culminates in a release that might sound stylistically dated to modern audiences weaned on paint-by-numbers former Mouseketeers preening to template-tunes, but nonetheless harkens back in all the best ways to a time when there was an actual “alternative” and creativity wasn’t something to be avoided and/or killed off at all costs. This is wholly recommended—smart pop for folks who don’t mind some singularity and personality in their musical selections.

 –jimmy (Almost Ready, almostreadyrecords.com)