Artist: Phantom Planet Track: "Dropped" Album: Raise the Dead Listen

Those familiar only with this band's "California," a helluva ballad that soundtracked The OC, will be pleasantly surprised by this album. Tracks like "Dropped" and opener "Raise the Dead" have all that lofty emotional exuberance, with none of the minor-key baggage. This is a band having a good time, perhaps spending their days having a few beers, pulling a few adolescent pranks and blaring The Monkees. Sounds fun. Not even lead vocalist Alex Greenwald -- who at times sounds like Rufus Wainwright unable to catch his breath -- can't rain on this parade through a wide range of happy-go-lucky rock and pop.

An early heads up: The band will play LC Pavilion on May 17.