Hard to believe it's been five years since it all started. The oohs and ahhs. The catchy lyrics. The keyboard solos and foot-tapping harmonies. Secret Powers took the likes of Electric Light Orchestra, the Beatles and Sweet, threw them in a blender and served up a brand of power pop all Missoula's own. Five years, five albums later, and the music still grabs you.
Maybe it's the theme that makes More Songs About Her such a treat. From "Impossible Girl" to "Telepathic," each of Secret Powers's new compositions stirs up memories of walks walked, gazes gazed and necks necked. Maybe it's the host of local guest musicians like Bob Marshall and Chris Bacon. Or maybe it's the band's steady ascension. They were solid from their debut, Explorers of the Polar Eclipse. These days? Polished granite.
More Songs About Her does boast a wild card: the addition of Oblio Joes veteran John Brownell to the permanent lineup. Where Shmedly Maynes's lyrics are whimsical, Brownell's are emotionally complex, even anguished. He paints the object of his affections in "Caroline" with Shins-esque poetry; she's "wormwood sage," she's "tawny rage." Throw in a chorus of lovelorn crooning and you quickly forget this is Brownell's first chapter in the band's five-year story.