Jet Fighter Records (Digital/CD)
By Lee Zimmerman
A journalist, musician and accredited author, Ken Sharp has clearly earned credence as an authority on all things power pop in all its attendant forms. Having written books extolling the accomplishments of his heroes — John Lennon, David Bowie, Elvis, Kiss, and over a dozen others — he’s applied the lessons learned to his own creative output, resulting in nearly two dozen albums and EPs that attest to both his craft and creativity.
Sharp’s latest release, Miniatures, follows the same tack he’s taken before, all ebullient and effusive melodies graced by indelible hooks, elusive charm and resilient refrains. It’s a fine example of what was once considered radio-ready rock and roll. Quality is on par with quantity, given its 32 abbreviated song snippets, each no more than two minutes total. All of it is produced by Sharp himself, save occasional contributions from multi-instrumentalist Fernando Perdomo and violinist Kaitlin Wolfberg.
Its modest approach aside, Miniatures is a surprisingly sumptuous set of songs flush with rich arrangements and added embellishment. Sharp’s vocals convey both fragility and finesse, allowing songs such as “I Am Here,” “World of Wonder,” “My Lullaby,” “Growing Up So Fast,” and “Stack O’ Records” to make an instant impression before ceding the spotlight to the tracks that follows. Granted, these fleeting melodies require clear concentration, but the allure lingers even after the abbreviated encounter.