If you like Beatles-flavored power pop, you can hardly go wrong with Texan songwriter Salim Nourallah's latest, Hit Parade, out on April 12. Nourallah has been kicking around for a while, first with the Happiness Project, later as a solo artist on Western Vinyl and Tapete Records. He has produced albums for the Old 97s and Rhett Miller..and this is actually not a bad reference point (others would be Brendan Benson, Wilco and the Deathray Davies) for his warm, catchy, carefully put together songs. Hit Parade shows some maturity -- the songs concern kids and spouses and credit card problems more than teenage romance and alienation -- but maintains a pretty sharp edge. I'm liking "Unstoppable", "Channel 5" (did Nourallah once date a "Dancing with Stars" contestant?), "Goddamn Life" and "Travolta" the best, but the songs are mostly pretty good.
Here's a live performance of "Unstoppable"