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You don’t have to check your headphones, and you don’t have to make sure you’re listening to the right musician. Unbelievably, Dave Plaehn is not a pseudonym for Todd Rundgren, although their breathy, sweet vocals are almost identical. This Oregon musician really does almost sound more like Rundgren than even Rundgren does these days. A skilled harmonica player, Plaehn has just released a new album, Radio Sister, a relative departure for this blues musician. Plaehn channels a lot more of Rundgren’s poppiest late 70’s-early 80’s material here as well as some classic Hall & Oates for that extra special touch.
Plaehn released his first EP in ’81 and judging by his influences and the sound of this album, it almost sounds like he’s still in the 80’s. The production is dated for sure, but that’s not really a bad thing. Sure the production on an album like Hermit of Mink Hollow is almost corny in terms of production by today’s standards, but Rundgren wrote some amazing songs on that album and it’s no different here. Songs like “Nothing’s Got A Hold On You” and “Soda Fountain” are so ridiculously catchy and poppy it’s almost unbearable. And who knows, this sound may very well be in vogue again within a few years, but for now Radio Sister still holds up as a great collection of songs.
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