JOHN WESLEY COLEMAN III: Microwave Dreams: LP

I used to be a terrible procrastinator, and I feel the old “gotta get this done” pressure as I’m writing this review just a day before deadline. I swear I haven’t been lazy. I haven’t bought anything new in forever (life has been reaching into my wallet lately, stealing my play money before I have a chance to spend it). But the angels at Super Secret Records dropped a new John Wesley Coleman LP on payday, so I hid some money before life’s sticky fingers could get it! So now I gotta synthesize a whole LP in less than twenty-four hours. What, am I professional journalist now? Mr. JWC seems to have slowed down a bit in the quantity of releases, as there is just over a year gap between 2015’s Greatest Hits and 2017’s Microwave Dreams. I’m pretty sure he hasn’t released anything else in the meantime, and if so, I missed it. Slowing down is not a bad thing. It gives fans like myself a chance to catch up. Microwave Dreams is less party slop rock than some of JWC’s early releases, and more in the somber/wistful vein of Greatest Hits. JWC sings of adult responsibilities (fatherhood, having to wake up at 7 AM) in “On the Couch Again,” but still reminisces about his younger, knuckle-headed self in “Jesus Never Went to Junior High.” He still wants everyone to dance (“Shovel”), and piano and saxophone flourishes sneak in at just the right times throughout the album to get one’s hips moving. To wit, during the release show for this album, two women stopped on the sidewalk outside the club and danced for a few songs. –Sal Lucci (Super Secret, supersecretrecords.com)