Friday, January 8, 2021

Forgotten Fridays: Manapop - Rubbing Doesn't Help

Forgotten Fridays is an occasional feature here at If It’s Too Loud... where we go back and find the lost records of our glory days. We played these on our college radio shows, put them on countless mix tapes, and then forgot they existed. We go back and remind you of their existence, and help decide if they were any good.

I've become a huge fan of Spotify's daily Time Capsule playlist. It's always a good thing to put on when I just can't pick, especially on a long drive. I typically get a good mix of alternative and hip hop classics of my youth, although they do give me the same three Beastie Boys songs too often or try to trick me into listening to the Grateful Dead sometimes. Every so often I find a forgotten gem, which is what happened with Magnapop recently.

Magnapop formed in Atlanta in 1989. Since then they've consistently featured the songwriter pair of Ruthie Morris and Linda Hopper. They first came to my attention with 1996's Rubbing Doesn't Help, which came out around when I first started my time in college radio. It's an album of power pop heavy alt-rock, and fit right into my tastes at the time. What's shocking is how the songs on Rubbing Doesn't Help don't sound dated. In fact, they sound like quite a bit of the current music we bring you that's considered alt-pop now. It's incredibly catchy songs with fuzzy guitars, and what else do we really want with music ever? If you think you've heard Magnapop before but aren't really sure, it's probably because of "Open the Door," which was a minor hit in its day. The opening line of "Everything is good these days but all of my friends are dying" is what kickstarted my memory of Magnapop.

Turns out that except for a hiatus between 1997 and 2002, Magnapop have stayed together and have consistently made music and toured. Their most recent album was 2019's The Circle is Round.

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