47 Moons (DMI)
The Dwight Twilley Band scored a minor hit in 1975 with "I'm on Fire", a simmering masterpiece of reverb-drenched power pop that still turns up on oldies radio once in a while. Typical music-business shenanigans and some tough breaks put the kibosh on a career that, to this day, seemed like a dead cert. Twilley and his then-musical partner, the late Phil Seymour, parted ways after their second album together flopped, leaving Twilley to bag one more hit with "Girls" in 1984. Since then, he's been turning up in unlikely places like the soundtrack of Wayne's World 2. He reunites with original Twilley Band guitarist Bill Pitcock IV on 47 Moons, and the result is a comforting throwback to the early days. Twilley's musical charisma springs from a tension between his Beatles fixation and the slapback-heavy influence of Sun Records. Add to that a certain eccentricity with structure and arrangement and the essence of Twilley's unimpeachable profile amongst record nerds and pop musicologists becomes clear. "Runaway With You" is perhaps the starkest reminder of that first, classic album. The left-field guitar tag at the end of each verse is vintage Twilley, while "Jackie Naked in the Window" confirms that Twilley's heart, not to mention his art, remains defiantly adolescent. Meanwhile, the new album's cover reveals that the former dreamboat has aged just as slowly on the outside.