As a former member of Badfinger’s classic line up, Joey Molland and his bandmates helped create the template for classic power pop, leaning on wildly addictive harmonies and razor sharp hooks – a blueprint that has survived decades and is still employed today.
So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that his latest solo effort, Be True To Yourself, his first in seven years, borrows from that classic model, resulting in a remarkably nostalgic and strongly satisfying effort. As a former member of one of The Beatles favorite band’s (and the first signed to their label Apple Records), there is no denying the influence they have on Molland’s music, even today. As a result, Be True To Yourself, with its timeless sound fits perfectly alongside some of George Harrison’s later efforts, in particular the sunny optimism of Cloud 9. There is also a strong ELO sound here, especially on “Rainy Day Man,” which could easily be the reply to “Mr. Blue Sky”. At the risk of drawing out The Beatles comparison a little too long, Julian Lennon makes an appearance on three tracks as well.
Molland is also joined by Micky Dolenz and Jason Scheff, both of whom toured with him last year, and Steve Holley (Mott The Hopple, Wings). The tone of the album is pretty upbeat considering the current state of the world, giving the record an ageless feel. Molland even gives a sly wink to his longtime fans adding in an “Oh Girl” chorus at the end of “All I Want To Do,” reminiscent of the chorus from Badfinger’s 1970 “No Matter What”.
At 10 songs, the album fades as quickly as it came in, but the melodies stay with you for a long time after the music has stopped. Be True To Yourself is easily one of the most charming albums released this year and a beautiful addition to the Badfinger canon.