Who’s afraid of the big, bad pop? Evidently not Khaela Maricich. Though the mastermind behind the Portland, Oregon-based Blow became known for her quirky stream-of-conscious electro blips, she tackled the industry standard without hesitation in 2004. With the help of Jona Bechtolt, the (recently expanded) Blow constructed its idea of pop by tackling that well-trodden subject matter — lurv — on Poor Aim: Love Songs. The EP kicked off the States Rights Records/Slender Means Society’s “Pregnancy Series,” where artists create a mini-album that stands out from their “normal” or best-known body of work.
Aptly, the Blow brought catchy melodies and naturalistic hooks to the fore on Love Songs and kept its ADD skronk to a minimum. But the record retained the Blow’s trademark characteristics, namely kept deadpan observations (“Hey, boy, why you didn’t call me?/ (A) You’re gay, (B) You’ve got a girlfriend . . .”) and playful sense of arrangement. The concessions were in fact hardly noticeable: a nod to the Postal Service’s milquetoast beat-pop on “Knowing the Things That I Know” here, a Police quote on “Come on Petunia” there.
On K Records’ reissue of the limited-edition Love Songs, an entire EP’s worth of remixes fill out the set. Though production reins are outsourced here (Strategy, Lucky Dragons, Alan Fortarte, in addition to Maricich and Bechtolt individually), the winking spirit of the original remains intact: “The Love That I Crave” becomes an early-’90s house roller, while Dr. Dre percolates throughout Fortarte’s version of “Hey Boy.” Just another example of how to have your pop and eat it, too.