JORDY BIRCH's Fun Machine (Virgin) Rating: NNN
Considering the prefab, plasticized many-headed beast of Britney, O-Town, Sugar Jones, etc, folks tend to forget the positive side of pop -- danceable, clever, hooky and fun. Jordy Birch goes for the latter. On his sparkling solo debut, the former frontman of alterna-dance outfit Pure serves up a dollop of quality indie pop. The Fun Machine combines the sun-drenched energy of By Divine Right's recent Good Morning Beautiful with Bran Van 3000's slinky funk grooves. Birch isn't as flaky as BDR's José Contreras, nor as self-consciously hip as BV3 goofball James DiSalvio. The lyrics could use a tweak, though. Couplets like "It's a blessing and a curse/In fact it's even worse" make "Hit me, baby" sound like Shakespeare.