Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2019 July 15 • Monday

For the 578th Soundtrack of the Week we checked out the music from Pinball Summer by Jay Boivin and Germain Gauthier.

One of the interesting things about this record is that Red Mitchell is apparently playing bass on it! The other musicians are Germain Gauthier on guitar and piano, Jean Lebrun on saxophone, Daniel Barbe on synths and Yannick Létourneau on drums. Presumably Germain Gauthier and Joy Boivin are singing.

“Summer Girls” is a schmaltzy sort of pop song with “Summer girls, free and easy” crooned as the chorus.

Things pick up with “Summer Magic”, which has more energy and more of an edge, as well as more interesting harmonic movement. It sounds agreeably like ELO.

Then we get to the title track, a very Beach Boys-type song: “Pinball summer / I’ll take you on / Pinball summer / Won’t you come along?”. It’s maybe a bit too long but a very catchy number.

“Wheel of Fortune” ends the A side with another song with strong Beach Boys influences but also something else, some saxophone soloing and New Wave flavors.

The second side starts with “Sally Joy”, a driving power pop song that sounds ‘80s while also incorporating elements of sixties and country rock.

“Voyeur’s Motel” is “cash and carry and no one signs the register”. It’s a groovy and libidinous song that has slinkiness keeping company with more straightforward rock and pop elements.

A mixture of ‘70s and ‘50s pop ideas is what you’ll hear “Can You Catch Me”. If more time and money had been available we’d probably hear several other instruments besides saxophone and synthesizer taking solos.

Finally there’s “Sweet Madness”, similar to most of the other songs but with more of a ‘70s feeling driving it, with pounding piano throughout and an ascending vocal line on the chorus, the word “sweet” hitting at least three different notes just by itself.