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Teenage Fanclub
FOUR THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED AND SIXTY SECONDS: A SHORTCUT TO TEENAGE FANCLUB
BY JONATHAN PERRY
Stars graphics

More than just about any other band who have taken the Big Star/Beatles/Byrds jangle-pop template to heart and run with it, Scotlandís Teenage Fanclub have built an engaging body of work that goes beyond mere stylistic aping in the name of purist devotion. This first-ever best-of 21-track compilation spans the Glasgow quartetís 13-year, six-album career, collecting all the essentials and reveling in the groupís crushed-out charm, chiming guitars, and unerring melodic instincts.

Taken from the groupís 1990 debut, A Catholic Education, "Everything Flows," with its languorous sprawl, is a reminder of the outfitís noisy Creation Records days. The frothy bubblegum baubles "Star Sign," from their 1991 major-label triumph Bandwagonesque (DGC), and "About You," from 1995ís Grand Prix (DGC), remain sparkling specimens of í90s power pop. Elsewhere, bassist Gerard Love makes like Roger McGuinn singing "Sparkyís Dream" over a melody pilfered from the Whoís "Pictures of Lily." The adrenalinized galloping guitars of Norman Blake and Raymond McGinley drive the careering "Radio" to euphoria. When they slow it down, the hooks and harmonies come into even sharper focus. "Planets," a country-tinged ode to open spaces, is a West Coast pop treat sprinkled with a dash of Harvest-era Neil Young. Ditto for the loping chords that carry, uh, "Neil Jung."


Issue Date: October 3 - 9, 2003
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