“Longtime L.A. scenester Jensen Bell has released a gem of a power-pop record called Modern Dating Tips. Aided and abetted by some of Los Angeles’ finest pop musicians (Robbie Rist, Drummer Jim Laspesa, keyboardist Morley Bartnoff and Muffs leader Kim Shattuck among them) Jensen offers up a concept album about a guy’s (ultimately unsuccessful) quest for happiness with the opposite sex.
From the sweet opening salvo of “Askin You Out” to the lyrically resigned (yet musically cheerful) “Happening (Parting Advice),” Modern Dating Tips is a disk that gets better and better on repeated spins. The rollicking “Her City’s Got A Train,” the punchy duet with Shattuck on “Happy Chocolate” and the hilarious “The Swear-Off Song” are the personal picks to click, and the whole deal closes with a beautiful orchestrated ballad worthy of Brian Wilson, “Love Stained Eyes.” “
What great pop! “Beauty Secrets” is a hit single waiting to happen! Catchy as hell, with a great, hooky verse and an equally incredible chorus and a terrific vocal. “Love Stained Eyes” is a beautiful song, meticulous construction with an inventive chord progression, and those double-tracked vocals and expressive strings; this one sent chills up my spine. I love the background vocals at the beginning of “Up & Out”; this song shows Jensen’s wide vocal range to great effect, and again, the song is catchy to the max. I’m most enamored with “Askin’ You Out,” a warm and wonderful tune that recreates that weird feeling of wanting to go out with someone and being afraid to pop the question; some really nice background vocals here, too. A thoroughly charming song. – – (“Pure Pop Radio” – Fairfax VA)
“Let’s say this up front: Jensen Bell’s album “Modern Dating Tips” is about as classic a ‘power pop’ record as we come across and, therefore, is cause for celebration in these quarters. Fans of Matthew Sweet, Big Star, the first Myracle Brah album, some Raspberries, Owsley’s first album, Fountains Of Wayne, Teenage Fanclub, will find that it’s all here in spades – and aces.” – Bruce Brodeen (Pres. NOT LAME Record Label, Colorado)