Record Review: The Pop Project – TGIF

The Pop Project TGIF CD-EP ( With this release, blogger/drummer Adam Kempa and his pals gather to praise obscure singer-songwriter Jesse Frederick. But their reverence is not directed at his sole 1971 Bearsville LP, nor the pair of unreleased follow-ups, but at Frederick’s more widely-heard contributions to the world of eighties sitcom themes. It’s a intriguing instance of reclaiming the craft (or art, if you will) from a place of intentional invisibility, and from the included “making-of” featurelette you can tell the band had a blast making it happen. I confess I’ve never watched an episode of Family Matters, Full House or Step By Step (Perfect Strangers I think I saw once), and none of these under-two-minute theme song covers are familiar, but the commercial craftsmanship of the songwriting is apparent and nicely realized in these short, sweet and very upbeat performances. Check the website for more about the Pop Project, Jesse Frederick and the difficulties of getting a mechanical license to cover these tunes. You probably need to have watched these shows a lot at an early age to react viscerally to hearing them remade, but either way it’s an endearing concept.