It's always a little sad when an Orange County musician as good as the Blank Tapes' Matt Adams decides to up and leave for the big city. Born and bred in Costa Mesa, Adams moved to San Francisco in 2005, but for the sake of this county's cumulative musical heritage, we can continue to claim him as one of our own. Adams is one of the most underrated modern pop songwriters to hail from these parts, and Daydreams is his strongest effort yet and should bring him the acclaim he deserves. According to the Blank Tapes website, Daydreams was recorded on cassette tape to an old eight-track, and the music emanates an intimacy and fuzzy warmth that's growing increasingly harder to find in these days of crisp, clean digital recording. Kicking off with a guitar line reminiscent of the opening of "And Your Bird Can Sing," Daydreams' first track, "In the Light," firmly states the Blank Tapes' musical lineage right off the bat. All the usual great-pop-songwriter touchstones are here—Lennon/McCartney, Alex Chilton, the Zombies and, when Adams gets melancholy, a touch of Elliott Smith—but his most obvious precedent is Ray Davies (with whom he even shares some vocal inflections), and many of his best songs sound like they could be lost Kinks B-sides. The Blank Tapes' influences are obvious, and Adams isn't exactly reinventing music with Daydreams, but great pop music is harder to create than most people think—and on at least half the songs here, Adams has created great pop music. Perhaps in his absence, some other local musicians will take up Adams' mantle.
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