Ken Sharp, the talented artist behind a number of terrific power pop records, including 1301 Highland Avenue and Beauty in the Backseat, has just released a phenomenal new album entitled Miniatures. What’s unique about the record is that the all of the songs are under two minutes in duration. This emotionally driven album is a heartfelt song cycle focused on life, love and friendship. Even though the thirty-two tracks on the record have a brief running time, they’ll have a lasting impact on you as a listener.
Songs like “Perfect Sun” and “Lorelei” will appeal to fans of the baroque pop sound of bands like The Zombies, The Left Banke, Belle and Sebastian and Arcade Fire. There’s also more than a passing nod to the Pet Sounds era work of Brian Wilson on “Jeanne I Will Remember” and “Susannah Silently Shining,” among others. Sharp hasn’t lost sight of his power pop roots, which you’ll find in the DNA of songs such as the British Invasion sounds on "Something’s Happening" and the Big Star essence of “Drivin.”
Sharp evokes a confessional, singer-songwriter vibe throughout the album, which has touches of pop, jazz and even a hint of folk. There’s a deep 1970s mood on songs like “Growing Up So Fast” and “You’ll Be Known,” and you'll definitely encounter stylistic echoes of Todd Rundgren and Laura Nyro. Miniatures is an intimate, low-key and acoustic-based affair, and thanks to the terrific production work by Sharp, there’s a marvelous array of instruments on display, including harpsichord, ebow, organ and mellotron. His expressive vocals and masterful guitar work are aided and augmented by special guests Fernando Perdomo and Kaitlin Wolfberg.
Embarking on a personal project like this can often have its drawbacks. When an truly artist bares his soul, the music sometimes doesn't connect with listeners. There are no such issues with Miniatures. Sharp’s thoughtful, introspective songs are instantly accessible and absolutely unforgettable. The beautiful tunes on Miniatures will touch your heart, make you smile and energize your soul. This wonderful album is one of Ken Sharp’s best works. Miniatures sounds better every time you listen to it. I highly recommend checking out the record, as well as the other albums and singles in Ken's discography. Follow this link, https://kensharp.bandcamp.com/album/miniatures, to the album's bandcamp page, and this one, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTIP3DW1Ju4, will bring you to the video for the song “Susannah Silently Shining.”