Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Beatifics - The Way we never Were - 2002


A full six years after the release of 1996's How I Learned to Stop Worrying and following an extended period of personnel instability that left singer/songwriter Chris Dorn the only full-time member of the band, the Beatifics returned with an equally strong second album. The Way We Never Were was completed with friends and former bandmates helping out in varying combinations, but since Dorn's appealing voice (he's one of the few power pop singers who isn't constantly aping the Big Star top-of-the-range tremulousness trick) and muscular songwriting have always been the Beatifics' strengths, the shifting casts don't distract. His songwriting has grown more consistent in the intervening years, with all of the songs barring the fragmentary instrumental "Part Two" (which is just a funky, homemade-sounding coda to the dreamy, strings-enhanced "Between the Lines," sounding like one of the filler tracks on the McCartney album) featuring memorably catchy choruses, inventive arrangements, and the occasional sharp-tongued line. The immediate highlight is the brilliantly hook-filled "In the Meantime," which marries a killer up-and-down fuzz guitar riff to the most instantly unforgettable chorus on the album, but the gentle acoustic "Outro" sounds like Elliott Smith without the self-pity, and the opening "Sorry Yesterdays" actually recalls the poppiest elements of Flip Your Wig-era Hüsker Dü. Though only the likes of Peter Gabriel can get away with regular six-year gaps between albums, The Way We Never Were is worth the wait.-AMG




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2 comments:

Mike said...

A request please Curty Ray... Do you have The Well Wishers 'Jigsaw Days'? Thanks.

syl said...

Great Blog! This is great music.
You're always outdoing yourself.
Do you have Soul Martini By The Cavedogs? Thanks

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