High-spirited piano-plunkers can be astonishingly polarizing, depending on whether a given listener can take all that cheerfulness: Is it okay to just pound the keys, belt out trivial lyrics, and stomp the stage without counterbalancing things with something moody or intensely introspective? For people who think happy is hokey, only appreciate Billy Joel ironically, and regard Ben Folds as nothing more than teenage nostalgia, Jukebox The Ghost is a bad idea. For everyone else, Everything Under The Sun is one of the most fun albums in years. The record is packed with remarkably addictive pop; half of these songs might be glued to your brain after one listen. The album opens like the first warm morning of the spring with the shining “Schizophrenia,” closes with the jauntily bouncing, brassy epic “Nobody,” and packs a wallop between: the vocal quirks of the sparkling “Empire”; the guitar-driven, explosive, Joel-esque “Summer Sun”; the infectious sing-along harmony of “Carrying”; the skipping, musical-theater chorus of “The Popular Thing.” If a piano-pop song has ever put a smile on your face, Everything Under The Sun belongs in your collection. If that’s never happened to you, well, why not?
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