Jaret Reddick has been bothering the pop punk scene for 25 years as part of Bowling for Soup. Kelly Ogden is the firecracker leader of the sunshine soaked duo The Dollyrots. This collaboration album has been a long time coming.
Duets albums are a rarity nowadays.There are classic examples throughout history, we’ve had Sonny & Cher, Lindsey Buckinham & Christine Mcvee of Fleetwood Mac and even the bizarre pairing of Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga. So Jaret & Kelly find themselves in somewhat esteemed company.
Collaborations tend to work best when there is genuine chemistry between the people involved. It’s very apparent Jaret & Kelly have been friends for a number of years and that friendship they have seeps into this record.
Sittin’ in a Tree is possibly the most infectious and upbeat album you will hear this year. This is pure sugary pop perfection and is garaunteed to have you smiling from ear to ear. Far from a one note pony though the duo do dip their toes into different territory throughout with great results.
Doin’ Alright and Kids Again both lean heavily into country territory. It adds a completely different vibe to proceedings and compliments both of their vocal styles tremendously. Butterflies (The Crush Song) and Let’s just see how it goes both turn up the acoustics providing some slower more contempletive moments among the hyperactivity. These two songs really anchor the album with some real heart and give the listener a couple of nice moments to catch their breath.
Daddy’s Girl comes across like a damn good try at writing a Fleetwood Mac song from the Rumours era and it almost succeeds. It’s another gem that is big on subtlety, emotions and has a nice breezy summery feel to it.
The rest of the album has both artists pop punk leanings all over it and gives the fans of both parties exactly what they signed up for with this album. Just pure pop punk bangers of the highest order.
We know that both artists work incredibly well as the vocalists in their full time bands, but how do they work together? The answer is very well. Jaret & Kelly have a natural chemistry and flow together. Their voices compliment each other and their is cheeky playfulness in their delivery that adds an element of fun to the album and makes it even more enjoyable to listen to.
I know pop punk is an often derided genre, and I still cannot fathom why, because when it’s done well like it is here, it is one of the most enjoyable genres around. Sittin’ in a Tree is a dose of pure sunshine in your ears and is the perfect album to soundtrack your summer. With a debut this good we can only hope there is more Jaret & Kelly to come in the future.