Joe Pisapia is likely best known for his production work with Ben Folds, The Silver Seas or Drew Holcomb (among others) but he’s an accomplished songwriter in his own right. His 2015 album Nightvision is a densely layered collection of songs that runs the gamut of introspective melancholy songs to explosive all-out rock numbers. With his latest, Connection, he reigns in the stylistic variety for a more laser-focused, no less dense, pop experience.
The word “pop” in this context can be a bit misleading; as it’s not referencing some sugar coated musical treat manufactured to prick at your earworm sensors but, rather, it’s a style of music that is hook laden and memorable but isn’t a rock record with searing guitars and driving drums. It’s a softer, gentler, record of confessions and observations but still catchy.
Pisapia has a mild Randy Newman vibe sometimes; both in vocal quality and in penchant for song quality. The record is a worthwhile listen from top to bottom but if I had to guide you through some convincing highlights I’d say start with “Feels So Good To be Understood” for a frolicking piano number cut with Jon Brion guitar warbles, dive into “Beautiful Re-arranger” for a pleasant instrumental diddy and give “Nashville Melancholia” a spin for some soaring melodies.