Read a lot of reviews of the new Tinted Windows album while traveling. Virtually every review mentioned Big Star as a reference point (along with some of the other usual suspects). But it got me thinking about a point that's long been on my mind: most of today's power pop songs are really just chord progressions with somewhat indistinct or predictable melodies draped across them. Play me a song and I can almost hum the melody as I'm hearing it for the first time. Big Star (and Badfinger and the Raspberries and...) wrote songs that had distinct and fresh vocal lines that were supported by inventive arrangements (not crunchy jangling chords through a Vox AC30 or whatever). The first few times I heard Radio City I was just knocked out by how unpredictable it all was...and how perfect it sounded. It took a lot of listenings for me to get really familiar with what was going to happen next. That's one element that makes for a truly great record.