Lannie Flowers – Flavor Of The Month
The oft-mined genre of power-pop can sometimes be pretty boring stuff. It fits the mold for dance music, but from there it can fall flat. Not so with pop mastermind Lannie Flowers who has created an LPs worth of wonderfulness with his latest release, Flavor Of The Month due out February 25, 2022. Summer Blue (seen/heard here) is an example of what you can expect from this great release. Flavor Of The Month came about because of the long wait between LP releases in a trilogy series which began with Same Old Story (2008), Circles (2011), and, culminated in Home (2019). If a song didn’t quite fit in the thematic elements of Home, it was released as a digital-download single for the fans while they awaited the LP. Those digital releases were referred to collectively as the “March to Home Singles.” Now for the first time, these tracks have a new home on their very own LP. The LP features remixed versions of all of those digital singles which are better suited to the long-player format.
All of these singles were originally released between February 2018 and July 2019. Leading off the collection is medium tempo Don’t Make Me Wait, which tells the story of a man working a dead-end job, dealing with traffic, and a disheartening future. What this man really wants, is to be home in the arms of his lover where he can finally feel complete. We’ve all been there at some time in our lives, working a job we didn’t like, dealing with people or circumstances that were difficult and uninspiring, just wanting a change-up. Love is a great diffuser.
Lost In A Daydream is another mid-tempo number and is very Beatlesque. Flowers notes that with the remix, he wanted to give it an I Am The Walrus feel, which has been done here very successfully. Lyrically, the song explores the many facets of life, and makes the statement:
“Anything you do or say,
is never ever what it seems.
It doesn’t matter anyway,
when you’re always lost in a daydream”
Good takes a look at music from the performer’s point of view. Sometimes audiences just don’t get what you’re doing. The best advice for a performer? Believe in yourself no matter what.
This brings us to the video-released single (above), which came about as the result of seeing an online DJ with the name Summer Blue and Flowers thought this was a great song title. Lyrically it’s all about needing a particular girl.
The One takes you back to high school, it’s about a boy who is over the moon in love with a girl, that of course doesn’t know he exists, and the story is about not wanting to be just another kid that she can’t see.
Let It Go is a slow burner that reflects on failed relationships: the best advice is to just move on, let the sunshine into you, and know that it will all be OK.
What happens when you’ve gotten older without actually noticing it? Where Did All The Fun Go? deals with the process of looking back at your life and wondering when it all changed.
“We gave a parade,
but when I was young it was so different.
The memories just change,
or fade away,
so now they come back,
but just for a moment.”
On Flavor Of The Month, Flowers looks at the life of the unpopular band girl, who develops over the course of a summer and now is popular. The downside? Her band friends now feel left out and jealous. Looking at the trials and tribulations of youth coming of age is what most of these songs delve into. It is a resource that has been well-mined in the past, but Flowers does an excellent job recapturing those feelings.
What Did I Know delves into the frustrations of being in a bad situation that you can’t dissociate from; having to ride something out when you basically know the outcome is going to be negative.
For guys who sometimes see that perfect girl that strolls in and is absolutely beautiful, but out of your league, Flowers gives you Day Glow All Night. There’s no way this girl is going to look twice at you, but you’ve just got to try and make a connection anyway.
Next up is a comedic look at a reference from years ago. Lannie Flowers was traveling with The Penguins in the 90s. While at the bar to get a beer, he overheard two girls talking. One of them said, “Last night he was so drunk, he was sitting on the TV watching the couch.” He grabbed a napkin and jotted it down and the rest? Well, it’s right here in Doin’ Fine.
About You deals with the ups and downs of celebrity life. Everyone starts out as a real person. Celebrity may change them for a time, but in the end, they arrive back at the beginning. Celebrity doesn’t last forever, and no matter how many people think they know you, no one really does.
Being in love is a hard nut to crack! It’s impossible. Anything But Love is a funny take on that feeling:
“I love you, I hate you,
I can’t live without you,
I don’t want to see you again.
To say all the things,
that I think I’m about,
to get out of the mess that I’m in.”
Oh yeah, at this point, you’ve got it bad. There’s no escaping love.
The final track here, My Street (Front Porch Version), looks at what happens or doesn’t happen at your house, on your block, in your neighborhood. The weatherman is wrong, you can’t buy a raindrop to save your soul, people talk without listening, it’s all just life on your street.
Throughout the LP, Flowers doesn’t make the listener think too hard. Pop music is as much about feeling the music in your feet, in your chest, in your heart, as about depth of meaning. Sure, each one of these songs is a fun story on its own. What you should take away from the collection though is Lannie Flowers’ excellent song-craft. These tracks may not have fit on Home, but they are by no means throw-away tunes! Jangly pop, bright guitars, clear vocals, pleasing rhythms, all wrapped up in these fourteen tracks. The items that are often my nemesis, engineering, and production, have been painstakingly balanced and thought through. These are high-fidelity tracks to be sure. There’s plenty of punch where needed, but nothing is overblown. Sometimes an LP can be a few songs of goodness and the rest mediocre. Not here. Every one of these tracks stands on its own as a beautiful pop gem.
Lannie Flowers’ website needs a little love. It’s basically a promo page for Home with some review information. The only links available are for Lannie’s Facebook page and his label’s (Spyderpop Records) video page. It’s also not using a secure certificate, which is a big no-no. Your best bet for information on the artist will come from Big Stir Records partner label Spyderpop. There’s a really nice write-up on Lannie Flowers there, along with preorder options for Flavor Of The Month and purchase options for much of the artist’s catalog. Digital download options for most of Flowers’ catalog (sans Flavor Of The Month) are available from his bandcamp.com page.
With a history of making thoughtful carefully crafted pop songs, Lannie Flowers’ music stands on its own. Flavor Of The Month is an example of carefully remixing and releasing the fruits of the “March To Home Singles.” These truly are singles, as noted above, each track standing alone like a jewel. Get in on the action by pre-ordering Flavor Of The Month now. While you’re at it, pick up this artist’s great back catalog of music.
Note: Covid 19 is still with us. The variants continue to make life as we knew it, completely different. The livelihoods of artists like Lannie Flowers and many others are still threatened. If your situation allows it, consider purchasing more in these tough times. Please, if you are physically able to do so, get vaccinated! –Vodka