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Album review: 'Popular Songs That Will Live Forever' 

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Alex Northrup

‘Popular Songs That Will Live Forever’

Proof That the Seacow Exists!

Launched with a busker-esque tambourine rattle, the music on Rochester singer-songwriter Alex Northrup’s just-released album “Popular Songs That Will Live Forever,” spills forth as if from a giant Flaming Lips music box. It’s quirky and slightly psychedelic, although Northrup keeps it all under his thumb. Creating what he calls “electro-chamber pop,” he’s truly an artist out of time, playing music that has no real genre and no decade — no home. The instrumentation sounds at times as if Northrup is playing toys, which adds a whimsical quality to the whole affair.

The 10-song lineup of tunes — including the single “The Only Thought I Need,” released on June 26 — is more delicate and impactful than standard pop. The tracks are vivid and varied, such as the piano detour on “No Fixed Address, No Broken Heart.”

Northrup performed, recorded, and mixed “Popular Songs That Will Live Forever,” with additional musical support from Sam Hirsh and Jacob Walsh.  The record was mastered by 1809 Studios’ Dave Drago, whose sound recalls the controlled chaos of Joe Henry, twiddling the knobs.

This marks a productive time in Northrup’s career. He also recently released “Murmurs,” an album of instrumental dreamscapes awash in atmosphere, with Hirsh under the moniker Luxury Robe. It’s all pretty, pretty, pretty.

Frank De Blase is CITY's music writer. He can be reached at

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