With music critics drooling over the “rock is back” movement like it was the second coming of Ricky Martin, fans are unfortunately forgetting the genre's kissing cousin pop rock is in desperate need of a savior. But Monterrey quartet Volován just might be the one. The group knows what a pop rock band is supposed to be about: playful percussion (like the pretty chimes and jittery tambourines of “Flor Primaveral”), doo-wop-tight harmonies, simple verse/chorus/verse lyrics dealing with love's various fluctuations and, of course, the all-important instrumental. They even throw in British horns and acoustic guitars, just to fool people into comparing them to Brian Wilson or John Lennon. And they hold together these trademark attributes with charming chugging melodies (the driving chords of “Ella es Azul” make it perhaps the most luminous song ever recorded) and a general ambience that, even when depressed—like the moody, “Ticket to Ride”-esque “No Quieres Venir”—suggests that unadulterated positivism can bring you out of any misery. They're so radiant you'll have to listen with lead earphones—lest you suffer from a permanent contamination by happiness.

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