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Bodega | Without A Plan (Brobdingnagian)
This is top-drawer pop with psych leanings and a nice line in schizophrenic decade skipping. Whilst the press blurb drops his name at every opportunity, it's inevitable that co-producer and mixer Dave Fridmann gets a mention for his sonic inventiveness here, although how much is down to Bodega's mainman, Andrew Rodriguez who's to say? He did, after all, write the album's dozen songs and sing, play piano, guitar and harmonium among others, so we'll happily file him under 'unfairly talented' and give him the larger back slap for a job very well done. Whether double-tracked, phased, or left unadorned, Rodriguez voice is amiably quirky, leaping into falsetto without warning, but never affected, and often harmonising with itself to great effect. With the exception of the brief retro Hendrix burst, Don't Have A Clue, 'Without A Plan' is as warm and welcoming as a marshmallow cloud, unashamedly nostalgic for a time when pop music was exploratory and intelligent yet still steeped in melody and hooks.