Today’s entry in the PopCult Gift Guide is “Naked Souls,” a brand new CD by Parkersburg’s John Radcliff, a frequent guest on Radio Free Charleston and an old friend.Simply put, “Naked Souls”is an exquisite album, starting with the McCartney-esque “RocknRolla” and ending with the ultra-catchy “It’s Not The End.” Rad’s album is almost like the second coming of XTC’s “Skylarking.” I mean that as very high praise indeed.
The ten songs that make up this CD are finely crafted musical treats, with catchy melodies and clever lyrics. Radcliff’s quirky sense of humor is on display throughout, particularly in the song “My Plastic Lover,” which is about exactly what you think it is. Another highlight is the infectiously pseudo-optimistic “It Might Work Out.”
Radcliff plays most of the instruments on the CD, with an assist from Todd Burge and Hardy Scragg playing bass on a few tracks, and Joseph Hale lending keyboards and vocal support to many of the songs.
“Naked Souls” is available in download form at Bandcamp. and iTunes However, if you want an actual, physical copy of the CD that you can keep and treasure and possibly wrap as a Christmas gift and place under the tree for your loved ones, you can come hear John in person at his Charleston CD release party at the Boulevard Tavern at 7:00 PM Wednesday night and purchase an actual, real world object version of the CD. Be sure to stick around, because John puts on a hell of a show. He’s going to play the entire album and is even promising to unveil a few new songs Wednesday night.