The Trolleyvox are melodic pop, mellow and smooth like a fine scotch, with pristine acoustic guitars & vocals by Beth Filla both of which stand out in the (generally) sparse instrumentation of The Trolleyvox Present The Karaoke Meltdowns. If you’re looking for a comparison to other bands I’d say that The Trolleyvox are kind of a prettier version of The Replacements.

There are no disappointing songs on the album and, if there is something to complain about, it would be that consistency. The Trolleyvox have developed a ‘sound’ and each track has a distinctly similar structure and sound to it. That’s ok – The Trolleyvox clearly are not about experimentation – they are pure melodic pop and are exceptional at what they do.

The Trolleyvox did manage to shake things up just enough to keep my interest going. Just when I thought that things were going to just coast along song to song, the band throws in a jangly guitar, power pop riffs, a driving bassline, or piano/keyboards to lift things out of the completely expected. That’s a good thing. This was particularly the case on the track “Joyride” where Andrew sings the lead vocal. It was a nice sonic break from Beth’s wonderfully floaty/syrupy vocals, and I found myself enjoying her voice all the more when she returned on the track that follows it, “Baby You Were Lied To”.

“I Am Annabelle” with its brilliant lyric (that ended up being the album title), “In the sad karaoke meltdown”, is definitely a standout track. This is music that should be on commercial radio if it already isn’t. A close second would have to be “Deep Blue Central” where the percussion is provided by what sounds mostly like a trotting horse (or coconuts clapped together a la Monty Python’s Holy Grail.) It’s a really pretty sound with just the amount of reverb to fill in the sparse instrumentation of the song. And, ya, did I mention that Beth can really sing? It’s the beautiful melody and the gorgeous tone of her voice that drags you into this song.

This is a great commercial album, sonically pleasing and smooth, and lyrically shines. The latter is the greatest strength (and least commercial aspect) of the album and could be lost to the inattentive ear that just tunes into Beth’s elegant vocals, Andrew’s power pop guitar riffs, and the exceptional harmonies. This album is a must for those that dig accessible pop music with a focus on quirky and interesting lyrics.

David Morley