Smalltown Poets: Say Hello

They’re back! Smalltown Poets released a well-received pop/rock album as “Villanelle” in 1996 before adopting their current name and releasing a string of catchy songs over the next several years. It’s been over a dozen years since their last regular release, with only two Christmas projects and an EP in the meantime. But now they’ve broken the silence with a full-length album, and their tuneful “70s in the 90s” pop-rock sound remains intact, as does their clear Christian witness on track after track. Recalling by turns jangly acoustic/rock ensembles like Gin Blossoms and The Wallflowers, the Poets recall a time when country radio wasn’t the only place to hear chord progressions outside the usual two or three that predominate today. The band was formed in southern Georgia, so an element of Country would be hard to avoid, but album opener “Say Hello” and closer “Are You With Me?” are slices of delightful guitar-based pop that could have come from Survivor or REO Speedwagon at their peaks. They belong on the radio, and on your playlist. Third Day’s Mac Powell guests on the worshipful “You’re My Shepherd,” while “Like Home” includes a gospel choir. “Impossible” sports an unexpected horn section. It’s an album worth revisiting, and a band worth supporting.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.