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Free Lunch for Tuesday, April 1 2003
By Sean Phipps
Chattanooga, TN – Tuesday's Free Lunch features the relatively unknown artist,Bill Ricchini. His debut album, Ordinary Time, was released in October of 2002 on Mega Force records. The album has just started gaining recognition in the U.S., but has been a success in U.K. since its release in 2002.
Ricchini's album is a summer record about the winter, as he says in the liner notes. The album was recorded in south Philadelphia bedroom in the midst of a sweltering Pennsylvania August. However, the catchy surf-pop lyrics and daydreamy sound completely contradict the wintry focus of the album.
But all contradictions aside, this album induces much more than an image of snow angels and cold winter nights. The musical arrangements are astoundingly reminicnt of albums like Pet Sounds (The Beach Boys) where everything seems to come together as an entire concept. Ordinary Time is as intimate of an album that you'll find and perfect for a rainy day or a casual drive.
Ricchini also attempts to portray a musical ride down memory lane on the album. Several of the songs like What you wanted and the infectiously catchy Julie Christie invoke memories of dramatic high school and the petty jealousy that we all can recall. But don't let the juvenile themes fool you, Ricchini's singer/songwriter title is well deserved. He reminds me of Elliott Smith, although more optimistic and thought provoking. And his use of random instruments like the toy xylophone and sleigh bells is reminiscent of Brian Wilson productions.
Overall, Ricchini succeeds in presenting an album that exemplifies the growing "Dream-Pop" genre. His continuing success wouldn't come as a surprise to anyone.
Ordinary Time will be played in its entirety at noon on NPRmusic88. More information on Bill Ricchini and his album, Ordinary Time, is available at billricchini.com