One of my favorite reasons I love the year 1971 in music is because of its diversity and transition into a new decade and era. You had great psych rockers and pre-metal and punk, garage rock, folk and pop all existing together in this whirlwind of social alchemy. You could listen to Alice Cooper and Shaun Cassidy, T Rex and the Beach Boys side by side, and it all seemed to make sense amongst the teenage dream.
Bill Ricchini’s taste go back to that time of renaissance pop and the AM bop scene that powered its way from Manchester to the California beaches. So when Summer Fiction announces the release of a new album, you say its about time because nine years is a long time to get your fix on one of the most glorious pop groups of our time, or any time.
Himalaya is everything you ever wanted in a pop album. It glistens, it glows. It is imaginary, surrealist and mysterious. Fueled by love and loss as an entity and not a conceptual identifier as an indicator, Ricchini is battling the gods and goddesses to make sense of some real life situations like the divorce of his parents, married for 40 years.
The weather inside this album is always 75 and sunny with fluffy clouds floating by. The apex of this release is “Religion of Mine,” which sums up its core essence. Stuck somewhere between The Everly Brothers and Elvis Costello and the Attractions, this song is a defining moment in Summer Fiction’s career. Nine years was a long time to deal with issues and sort through baggage, and Ricchini had a lot to sort out. Situations produced the best songwriting I have experienced in a while.
“Lauren Lorraine” is as good as any ‘60s Stones song, moss covered with gorgeous harmonies. “Manchester” is dark and haunting, dominated by a lonely piano. The title track rings out like an intimate Howard Jones serenade.
If solid gold still existed, this album would make it all the way to the stages of the Bandstand. A+++