Big Star

In Space

As a pop-freak myth, Alex Chilton isn’t quite J.D. Salinger, but he’s close. Chilton broke up the spookily gorgeous pop band Big Star in 1975 and has been playing surly white R&B ever since, but here comes In Space, his first studio album with the reconstituted band, now including cosurvivor Jody Stephens and the Chiltonian duo of Posies Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow. In some ways, this new model truly deserves Big Star’s long-held “power-pop” label — a few of these dozen tunes are too precious, and the experimental funk rave-up “Love Revolution” stumbles out of bounds. But Chilton can still write a love song, and this time, that love song is “Dony,” brittle and infectious, frosted with little bells in the background. When he sings Surely you’re aware you’re blowin’ my mind/The sun in your hair seems to stop time with less cynical edge than he’s had in decades, it’s hard not to believe the myth.

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