Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Second time around

The Posies - Every Kind of Light

The 90's revival is now almost officially reunited. First Brendan Benson, then Sloan, then Teenage Fanclub, now The Posies. Matthew Sweet hasn't stopped, so all we need is someone to get Andy Stummer and Roger Manning Jr. on the horn, round up their funny hats and get their Jellyfish reunion on.

Every Kind of Light is much like Teenage Fanclub's Man-Made, doesn't eclipse their greatest work (Frosting on the Beater for the Posies, Bandwagonesque for TFC) but arguably their best since then. Three songs you can already stack up to their best, "Conversations," "I Finally Found a Jungle I Like," "I Guess You're Right," and, as it continues to grow on me, "It's Great to Be Here" quite possibly as well.

There was some misconception that this was a political album, based on notes by Auer and Stringfellow on Rykodisc's supporting page for the album. While there are some nice jabs at George W. Bush and US consumerism ("Could He Treat You Better," "It’s Great to Be Here Again" and "Sweethearts of Rodeo Drive") it on the whole is familiar Posies territory: love and lost love, cleverly written and sweetly sung. "All in a Day's Work" and "Second Time Around" sound like they were a part of the Amazing Disgrace sessions, while "I Finally Found a Jungle I Like" captures the partying side of power-pop, like The Raspberries pioneered, and Sloan and The Shazam continued. All in all, the album takes off where Success left off, only without the filler. A fine album that if you're a Posies fan is a must-have. For those treading gingerly into the flower field of Posie power-pop, start with Frosting on the Beater before jumping in.

Also of note: Last year Jon and Ken went into the studios with Alex Chilton and Jody Stephens, and the resulting new Big Star album (first in nearly 30 years) will be coming out in late August. Cue applause and hysteria(!) You can already pre-order from Not Lame records.

More ammo for the power pop front
Power Pop 1990-1999 - Nineties Flourish

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drake leLane said...

The Posies - Every Kind of Light

* "It's Great To Be Here Again" - The Posies
* "Conversations" - The Posies
* "All In A Day's Work" - The Posies
* "I Guess You're Right" - The Posies
* "Anything and Everything" - The Posies
* "Second Time Around" - The Posies
* "Last Crawl" - The Posies
* "Could He Treat You Better" - The Posies
* "Love Comes" - The Posies
* "I Finally Found A Jungle I Like" - The Posies
* "That Don't Fly" - The Posies
* "Sweethearts of Rodeo Drive" - The Posies

Robert 0f The Radish said...

I must put my 2 cents in and say Dear 23 is the Posies best work. Well, for me anyway. Might be a nostalgia factor.

drake leLane said...

I'm not going to throw dirt on Dear 23, as it's a fine album, but... here I go anyway!

After seeing them live a few times before Dear 23 came out, I was a little disappointed when it was released (and surprised.) All the hours upon hours of knob twisting they (John Leckie) did in the studio sucked the soul out of many of the songs, in my ears. They had (and still have) a powerful live sound that was better captured on Frosting on the Beater.

The 1-2-3 punch of "Dream All Day," "Solar Sister" and "Flavor of the Month" is my favorite opening of any power pop album, and there's no song on FOTB that I find myself skipping now (like "Apology" and "Everyone Moves Away" on Dear 23.)

And on a personal note, my friend Dave (and former RealNetworks employee) plays bass on Frosting on the Beater, so some bias might be in play ;)

Robert 0f The Radish said...

Dream All Day is probably their most "accesible" song and the album is good. Very good. I am more attracted to Dear 23 because it reaches. They are doing things that make it more "artful" in my book. Frosting sounds more formulaic to me. The harmonies and dynamics on 23 just blow me away. Still to this day. I also love the mellower side of tThe Posies like "Apology" and "Everyone Moves Away". In fact "Frosting on the Beater" sounds like they forgot the acoustic guitar on the way to the studio with the exception of "Lights Out" (which does nothing for me). I am partial to acoustic guitars though.

I agree with your track picks for the new album. I am still listening, but the opening track has me wondering who this band is.
It sounds like it belongs on a over-produced modern day James Bond soundtrack.
Not liking this song. If I heard this whithout knowing it was them I would have never guessed.

drake leLane said...

Most fans have FOTB or Dear 23 as their fave and have the other second in line (although, I'm one of those that prefers Failure to Dear 23.) Either way, I think it's their best since FOTB.

I like acoustic guitars too, but my fondest memories of The Posies were with the amps at 11, Ken going at his telecaster with abandon and Jon bending tremelos by shaking the neck of his Gibson.

And I hope to see it again soon ;)

MJAPA said...

EKOL is my favorite of all of the records so far, my next favorite is the accoustic record 'In case you didn't feel like plugging in'.
I think Jon's voice is better than ever on EKOL. All sweet and buttery. I swear he has one of the best voices in the NW (Yes, I am biased, but I thought that before I took his last name)
I like a lot of the lyrics on D23 but don't like the production so much as the guys seem sped up to me, but I love parts of FOTB and Success a whole bunch. FOTB is prolly my most revisited of the Posies records.
I really am such a soft rock girl though that I have a hard time when guitars get too much focus. I am more of a shoe gazer I s'pose.

drake leLane said...

I wondered when you were going to join in Melissa ;) A return visit, or did you technorati?

I do like In Case You Didn't Feel Like Plugging In a lot, but have to exclude it as it's a live album, which isn't fair as it culls the best from the others (like the Dream All Day: Best of comp.)

I know yer man Jon's got the croon, but we can't let him go to long w/o displaying his mad fret skillz (that's right, I said skillzzzzzz ;)

drake leLane said...

Here's something that perhaps only rabid Posies fans care about - that The Posies recorded a whole album (the Eclipse sessions) before FOTB that was rejected by DGC the first time. Rick Roberts (bass) even had a vocal turn. DGC didn't hear the hits (or any Nirvana-like sounds - DGC's new cash cow sound) and it was back to the drawing board, and bye-bye to Rick, who took his song with him and recorded a version of it ("Lord of Less") with his new band Peach.

"Open Every Window" (released as a b-side to "Dream All Day",) "Farewell, Typewriter" were a couple from the Eclipse sessions, but the rest is fuzzy in my memory, as I only heard it once and the rest are memories of the songs live.

Maybe someone with more knowledge can shed some light on the subject? I'd like to hear them again... I think I've seen bootlegs out there somewhere.

MJAPA said...

I came back because I like to read your Six feet under spoilers. (Which I was very excited to see a biggie here today!) :-) I have to wait until they come out on DVD or someone bootlegs them on ebay. I'm house sitting this weekend though for a friend who has on demand, so I may just dissapear and catch up on all of my favorites! I know, it would make more sense if I just got a bigger cable package, but where is the fun in that?

drake leLane said...

I hope you caught last week's guest Six Feet Under recap...

I'm enjoying this season, but I'm glad it's ending. It's just too much. Everyone's interaction is so awkward and real this season I find myself shuddering and squirming in my seat.

I think this last year has made a drama about death a little too real, if you know what I mean.

FreeThinker said...

Count me as a Dear 23 fan. At The Posies' concert kickoff in San Francisco, all the tunes were fine, but since Dear 23 has a special place in my heart , those numbers were the best for me. They even closed with "Flood Of Sunshine."