Odds: Nest (1996)

One of the great power pop albums of the 1990s, and, sadly, one that's largely dropped from public awareness.  This came out around the same time as the first Fountains of Wayne album, and I listened to them both all the time, but while the Fountains went on to continue recording great music and find some mainstream success, the Odds disappeared after this release despite some commercial backing (though they later regrouped).

The album's highlight -- and a song which alone makes the album a must-own -- is "Someone Who's Cool," easily one of the catchiest power pop tracks ever recorded.  If asked to define "power pop," which isn't necessarily obvious to everyone, I might point you towards Big Star or Matthew Sweet, but this song would work pretty well at providing a perfect, 3-minute encapsulation of the genre.  It's just fantastic -- lyrically astute, insanely catchy chorus, delightful harmonies, the whole package.

Nothing else is quite in that league, but there are other decent songs here.  "Make You Mad" and "Hurt Me" are fun, Posies-like tunes, with an indie rock edge grounded by solid hooks; "Heard You Wrong" and "Nothing Beautiful" are sweet mid-tempo ballads in a Matthew Sweet vein.  "Say You Mean It Wondergirl" rocks a little harder, but is pretty nifty, shades of XTC and Cheap Trick.  But the album is pretty likeable all the way through, a punchy effort and one that should be part of the power pop pantheon.

Here's the video for "Someone Who's Cool":
...and the video for "Make You Mad":
...and "Nothing Beautiful":
Alas, the album doesn't stream on Spotify, but you can listen to audio rips of the whole album on YouTube.

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