Album of the Week 10/21/18
Phil Maq's Theme Attic / WHFR-FM, 89.3
10 wks on
the Top 10 albums chart
the 2018 Top Albums chart
#9 Power Pop Album of 2017
"While there are more
than a few very worthy tracks here, the standout single for me is
'The Girl Who Checks All The Boxes.' A whopping hook from
start to finish, [It's] not only catchy has hell,
it’s lyrically brilliant in its simplicity. It’s one of those songs
that you hear and say to yourself Damn, I wish I wrote that."
Richard Rossi / Power Pop News
Top 13 Essential Tracks for 2017
("The Girl Who Checks All the Boxes")
Rick Warhall / Chasing the Essential
#17 Top Albums of 2017 /
Paolo Milea / Power Pop Station
18 Favorite Albums of 2017
"That Caruso is able to
negotiate the waters of decision in his lyrics while painting
delicious landscapes with his melodic brush is a testament to his
skill as a writer and performer. He is on his own in these 10 songs,
playing all of the instruments and singing all of the vocals. Aided
masterfully by Andy Reed, who mixed and mastered, bringing each
element of these songs to glorious life, Caruso has made a
career-defining album stocked deep with catchy songs."
Alan Haber / Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio [Full
#60 Top 100 of 2017
"Caruso has a slick pop sound informed by Elvis Costello, Squeeze,
and of course The Beatles and he puts those influences to good use
in 'Boomer, Jenna & Lennie' (which also reminds me of Mark
Bacino), 'Hanging With You' (which could be a Beatles '65
outtake), and 'God's Green Acre' (a lovely chamber-pop
ballad). Elsewhere, Caruso's gift for Costello-like wordplay comes
to the fore with 'Punctuating Shatner.' But Caruso's appeal on this
album can be summed up by the title of one of its better tracks,
'The Girl Who Checks All the Boxes,' as he checks all the
boxes when it comes to fans of smart, melodic adult pop."
Stephen Ferra / Absolute Powerpop [Full
A Perfect Album
"Each song has its
own earworm – some with several. ...It’s the hallmark of a
good pop song, and Caruso has managed to do it not once but 10
'I Get to Make You Laugh' [is]
a perfect ending to a perfect album. Buddha Pesto Manifesto
is one of the top listens of 2017 so far – there’s not a bad apple
in the bunch."
Peter Lee / Hooks & Harmony [Full Review]
“I highly recommend ‘Buddha Pesto Manifesto.’ All original
compositions, written, arranged, recorded and performed by Dave.
If you love pop music, it's a must-have.”
Jeff Grzywinski /
Co-Host of Strange Magic on Rewind 94.3
"Caruso teases you
on 'Go Ahead (Don’t Listen)' an Elvis Costello-like rocker,
and it then draws you into his world with his soft and inviting
vocal. What follows is the brilliant pop narrative 'Boomer,
Jenna & Lennie,' a nostalgic story that recalls Andrew Gold
mixed with Brian Wilson-styled vocals. Each track is a wonderful surprise from the
hymn-like harpsichord pop of 'God’s Green Acre' to the
80’s style power pop of 'Getting Involved' and
'Allendale.' There is plenty of humorous wordplay with
the 'Punctuating Shatner,' and the heartbreaking 'I Get
To Make Her Laugh' will make you think about all those class
clowns who are crying on the inside. Not a wasted note here and
Aaron Kupferberg /
"Boomer, Jenna &
Lennie" is the first single off Dave's 2017 album, "Buddha
Pesto Manifesto." Melodic Pop Connoisseur, Alan Haber
calls it "a
classic, ever-so-catchy Eric Carmen-styled number about negotiating
life’s path and the ups and downs that are presented along the way.
Light, percussive piano, electric guitar stabs and a sumptuous
melody propel this song to the top of the pops."
Albums of 2014, #6: 'Cardboard Vegas Roundabout'
Best Songs of 2014, #7: 'The Art of Erica'
Caruso lays down some of the most
complex vocal arrangements of the year, and succeeds over-and-over again.
Jeffrey Raskin / Host, The Big Show & Program Dir., Pop That Goes Crunch
Most-Played Songs of 2015, tied for #10: "Your Fake Friends"
"If you don't like this, there's somethin' wrong with ya."
Carl Cafarelli & Dana Bonn / Hosts, This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio
21 Favorite Records of 2014:
'Cardboard Vegas Roundabout'
"Dave’s miracle of an album is one of the best releases of this or any
Magnificent sound. Lovely, melodic songs. Crafted with care.
Sharp musicianship and gorgeous, multi-part harmonies. I am in
love, love, love with Dave’s music."
Alan Haber / Program Director, PurePop Radio [Review
Best Albums of 2014,
#75: 'Cardboard Vegas Roundabout'
David Bash / International Pop Overthrow
Rating: 9 Out of 10
"'Cardboard Vegas Roundabout' is worthy of the praise it's getting among
the power pop intelligentsia. The music is fresh, catchy and above
all original. Caruso is no slouch in the lyric department either,
with writing that is often poignant, introspective and topical."
Eric Abrahamsen / Glory Daze
Best of 2014, Featured: 'Cardboard Vegas Roundabout'
Caruso delivers tunes and lyrics that will draw you in, play with your
emotions, and satisfy all your musical cravings. Cracking stuff indeed!"
Wayne Lundqvist Ford / Host,
Ice Cream Man Power Pop & More Show on Radio Andra and Pop That Goes Crunch
A Slice of Pure Pop Bliss
"Dave Caruso is a primo purveyor of elegantly crafted sunshine pop. Fresh
and ultra-listenable from start to finish. Pitch-perfect vocal
arrangements and songs with flowing melodies and neat little lyrical
John M. Borack / as reviewed in Goldmine Magazine and reprinted in his music
"Shake Some Action 2.0,"
documenting some of the best power pop albums from 1970 to 2017.
Loaded With Hits
"One of the best releases of 2014."
Craig Leve / Host, Snap, Crackle Pop on KWVA Eugene 88.1 FM
All Killer, No Filler
"Dave Caruso's 'Cardboard Vegas Roundabout' is
pure pop bliss."
Michael McCartney / Host & Program
Dir., The Time Machine Radio Show /
KEAO FM / KMNO FM / KONI FM / KORL FM / KPMW
FM / KRKH FM / KRYL FM / KJMQ FM / KKHI FM / Maui WOW Radio Network
"I found the first jewel of the year: Dave Caruso's 'Champion.'
Highly tuneful. Like eating frosting straight from the jar. Splattered
throughout the song are Beach-Boys harmonies – even the “ba, ba ba ba”
that the Beach Boys were known for and a high-pitched “wooo” that would
make Brian Wilson swoon.
Caruso has a knack for melody and harmony."
Peter Lee / Hooks & Harmony [Full
"An expected pleasure. Dave
really has the vocal technique
honed on his Beach Boys tribute, 'Champion.' Caruso’s guitar pop
hits a winner with 'Your Fake Friends,' a jangle-tastic single.
Another big highlight is the
Elvis Costello-like ballad, 'The Art of Erica.'"
Aaron Kupferberg / The
"Every once in awhile, I have
the pleasure of listening to a real winner, and this is the first one of
the new year. There is a lot of variety in Caruso's songwriting, and his
pleasant voice is up to the task of switching gears whenever necessary."
Dan Pavelich /
Like Having Dinner at
the Vatican With the Pope
"'Cardboard Vegas Roundabout' is
fresh, original and engaging. One of my favorites, 'The Art of
Erica,' reminds me a bit of Elvis Costello. The jangle-pop of 'Your Fake
Friends' will surely please the most discerning of powerpop fans. Other
standout tracks: 'Champion,' 'I’ve Tried To Write You' and 'Its a Great
Day for The Angels.'
Richard Rossi / Power Pop News [Full
Pop Craft of a High Order
"Caruso demonstrates pop craft of a
high order here. The title track is the standout, a jangly treat that
would have fit it perfectly on The Red Button's 2007 album of the year.
I'm going to have to make a
judgment call on whether this one qualifies for the 2009 EP list, because
on merit alone it's a gimme."
Steve Ferra / Absolute Powerpop
Instantly Catchy and Accessible
"...Sunny, chiming guitar
melodies that are instantly catchy and accessible. The songcraft is top
notch, a perfect example is the Elvis Costello sounding title track
“Elizabeth Parker”. The next gem is “I Can’t Be On Time,” a finely tuned
slice of 80’s styled power pop. The bossa nova ballad “If I Died
Today” and strong guitar riffs of “Letter To My Ex” round out the album.
An excellent addition to your music collection."
Aaron Kupferberg / Powerpopaholic [Full
"Before releasing Cardboard Vegas Roundabout, Dave recorded
['Elizabeth Parker,'] an EP that is just as captivating. We’re playing
four songs in rotation: the title track, 'I Can’t Be On Time,' 'If I Died
Today,' and 'Letter to My Ex.' A double dose of Dave Caruso will do you
Alan Haber / Pure Pop Radio [Full
"Elvis Costello Alert! Here's a guy that knows his way around a pop
song! He delivers five Brill Building-esque pop nuggets."
Kool Kat Musik
"...an island of
vivid colors amidst the sea of black & monotonous pop music today."
Paolo Milea /
Payoff is Big
"Great EP for pure pop fans! Payoff is big if you are a fan of early
Costello, Squeeze and Joe Jackson."
Bruce Bodeen / Not Lame Records