When I first heard about Tinted Windows, it seemed like a potentially disastrous conglomeration: a supergroup including former members of Smashing Pumpkins, Cheap Trick, Fountains of Wayne, and … Hanson.
Wait! Don’t click away just yet.
Taylor Hanson’s not a kid anymore – and he’s grown a fair bit as a vocalist, matching his still-impressive flexibility with a bit more grit up top. Indeed, Hanson’s post-pubescent pipes seem ideally suited to power pop hooks such as those found on songs “Kind of a Girl” and “We Got Something.”
Meanwhile, guitarist James Iha, bassist Adam Schlesinger, and drummer Bun E. Carlos have crafted punchy arrangements that strike a nice balance between power pop and mainstream rock. Iha’s chops remain mighty impressive. He unleashes a torrent of riffs on “Can’t Get a Read on You.” The guitarist has also written a winsomely poppy “Cha Cha,” which suites Hanson’s singing quite well. While all of the non-percussionist band members contributed to the songwriting, one can hear Schlesinger’s influence quite palpably: Fountains of Wayne fans are apt to be most pleased.
Those who can put aside their knee jerk reactions and jaded preconceptions are bound to be pleasantly surprised.