Cotton Candy | Top Notch & First Rate

Teenbeat (2010)
By JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  February 23, 2010
3.0 3.0 Stars


Anyone who's seen Cotton Candy in person can attest that they're irresistibly camp and cute. In the live setting, husband-and-wife duo Mark Robinson and Evelyn Hurley mix pitch-perfect TV and radio jingles (delivered with trademark "singing family" chirpiness) and gorgeous, Anglophilic boy-girl pop songs. (It's like listening to a radio show — albeit a very warped one.) Now, on their first full-length disc, you can almost hear the lounge-lizard smiles the duo sing through on squaresville jingles like "Charlie by Revlon."

Even though it makes you laugh, it's not a joke — Cotton Candy are far too geeky about pop culture and design not to be enamored of the subversive pleasures of advertising. (Just consider that they're named after Ron Howard's made-for-TV classic about a high-school rock band.) Drum-machine-and-guitar gems like "Top-Notch and First Rate" rush by like records played at the wrong speed before veering into synth throwaways like "Star Wars Main Title" (yes, that one).

But don't touch that dial! Top Notch also mixes in a healthy dose of dialogue tracks copped from vintage programs of dubious quality — not least among them a paranoiac dialogue collage called "Mark Robinson."

COTTON CANDY | Tommy's Comedy Lounge @ Charles Playhouse | February 25 @ 8:30 pm | $8 | 800.745.3000

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