Painting Musical Pictures
Tim Brough | Springfield, PA United States | 01/30/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Danny Wilde and Phil Solem had a knack for catchy but low-key pop, a skill that served them to semi-successful effect through their working partnerships. With this best of, they get a little respect. Starting with the sole album by Great Buildings, a pair of new-wave almost hits show the pair's way with an energetic hook (and produced a KROQ classic in "Hold On To Something"). But then a ten year hiatus took place, after which they reunited and christened themselves The Rembrandts.
They were a bit more mellow than the old skinny-tie sound. The first top 20 hit was a hooky Beatle-esque number called "Just The Way It Is Baby," and comparisons to artists of the time like Crowded House or Michael Penn. The second album, Untitled, had an almost hit with the melancholy "Johnny Have You Seen Her" and (not included here) the fab-faux "Chase The Clouds Away." Then lightning struck. A chance request with the creator of "Friends" led Danny and Phil to knock off a quickie theme song that became so popular that DJ's were home-taping it from their TV's and editing a three minute version together.
Hastily written to a full length single and attached to their 3rd CD, LP, "I'll Be There For You" was an instant hit, taking the album platinum and finally giving The Rembrandts a broad success. It also torpedoed them as one-hit-wonders. Phil left before Danny finished the jangley-pop Spin This!, which was rich in both Beatles and Byrdsian influences. It also fell on deaf ears, despite stellar songs like "Long Walk Back." The duo returned/reunited for 2001's Lost Together, but by then The Rembrandts' time was past. They still tour and make music together.
This best-of provides ample proof of the duo's solid songcraft and more than a few 'shoulda-been' hits. Incidentally, get this over the Choice Picks, which are faithfully re-recorded version of some of Phil and Danny's favorites...but still are remakes."