Veteran pop purist Kristian Hoffman has previously notched credits working with former Kinks kingpin Dave Davies and veteran producer Earle Mankey. On Fop, his fourth solo sojourn, he expands his ambitions by weaving together the strands of America’s popular music traditions. From the sounds of the roaring ’20s (“Imaginary Friend”) to ’70s-style power ballads (“Something New Is Born,” “Cassandra”) and—gasp!—even disco (“Soothe Me”), Hoffman proves himself a master crossing genre streams. His orchestrations offer these songs a lush cushion that elevates the drama and the delivery. While Hoffman occasionally recalls Todd Rundgren, Eric Carmen and Ram-era Paul McCartney in his obsession with embellishment, his arrangements never hide his melodies. The pop on Fop demonstrates creativity and craft.

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