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Monday, September 5, 2011

Tonight in Music: Hanson & Devon Williams

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Mon, Sep 5, 2011 at 12:15 PM


HANSON

(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Remember those fresh-faced heartthrobs from Tulsa? You know, the ones with the song that went "MMMBop," and then 10 million screaming pre-teen girls were like "YESSSSSS! MMMBOP!" and the world was forever changed? Well, it appears the efforts of the brothers Hanson have not been thwarted due to premature success, and they'll be stopping in Portland on their Musical Ride Tour. As an attendee, you get to dictate which record they'll play and if you're anything like me, your pre-pubescent heart murmurs resurged at the very thought of hearing 1997's Middle of Nowhere in its entirety. However, much to our dismay, that album is not on the city's ballot, though 2010's Shout It Out is and honestly, it's not that bad. The songs clutch a '60s pop nostalgia and are carefully dabbed with soulful touches, thanks to horn arranger Jerry Hey (Michael Jackson, Earth, Wind, and Fire) and Funk Brothers' bassist Bob Babbitt. Plus, all lyrics are comprised solely of tried-and-true English words; the boys have grown up indeed. RAQUEL NASSER


DEVON WILLIAMS, HAUSU, THE SHIVAS

(East End, 203 SE Grand) Devon Williams is the candy man, and he's stocked full of enough caramel-laced pop confections to send you into a sugar coma. These tasty tunes are so ooey-gooey that they're almost too rich to take in at once, but the occasional indulgence feels so good, how could it be wrong? Williams' new record Euphoria is more than just a guilty pleasure—it's that perfect half-hour bite, balancing nostalgic depth of flavor with hints of slow-motion power pop (À la Cleaners from Venus), soft rock pastiche (Prefab Sprout), and a fascination with '80s production styles (the Church). But like every great chocolatier, you've got to have that something special to keep people coming back when the craving hits. In this case, it's the exquisite choral and orchestral arrangements Williams tops his treats with. You'll be sucking your sticky fingers for days afterward. CHRIS CANTINO

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