Willie Wisely has paid his dues. Hailing from the same 1980s Midwest scene that spawned the Replacements, Hüsker Dü and the Violent Femmes, Wisely has had a career that's been as storied as it's been criminally neglected. He got his start as a promoter at the well-known Minneapolis institution First Avenue and the 7th Street Entry before releasing a string of albums with the Willie Wisely Trio and on his own. Although his British Invasion influences are obvious, he's taken them a step further toward a distinctive power-pop sound recalling Big Star and Badfinger. After two solo albums, Wisely largely disappeared from the world of music for nearly a decade. In 2006, he resurfaced with the darkly gorgeous Parador. Released on Not Lame, Bruce Brodeen's Fort Collins-based imprint, the record showcased Wisely's new sound, which could be considered bleakly melancholic were it not for his perfect tonal inflections, which conjure the beauty of cloudy spring days.

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