If you watched any of the World Cup this summer, you probably heard Jim Noir's "Eanie Meany" about a hundred times in the Adidas ads that were run into the ground throughout the competition. "If you don't give my football back, I'm gonna get my dad on you," Noir tells his bully over a shimmering beat. It's a catchy little son of a bitch, that song, as are all the songs on Noir's compilation/debut, a merging of a few EPs and few new tracks.
Though any record that mimics '60s pop is going to have a lot in common with the Beatles and the Beach Boys, it's the Zombies that Noir is really channeling here as he fills his quirky little numbers with unusual arrangements and beautiful harmonies. Most of the songs are about minor things, so "Computer Song" is actually about computers and "The Key of C" sings the praises of that famous note. But Noir keeps it simple only in appearance. His uncluttered productions and shimmering presentations are only the surface of his music, which builds in complexity with each listen. "How to Be So Real" sways in the summer breeze, and before you know it, the background harmonies carry more weight than the lyrics.
Noir is still young, so his pop has yet to seriously take in the melancholy nature of the greatest music of the genre, but there is darkness here, even if it is somewhat playful (see closer "The Only Way"). And that may be the best thing to respond to in his music. Though he would have undoubtedly benefited from collaboration (people like this very rarely join bands anymore), what was lost is nearly made up in solitary quirkiness. It's a distinct type of pop that could become truly memorable when he actually sits down to compose a full album.
Streaming audio: http://www.myspace.com/jimnoir
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