A couple of years I went through a stage of buying records mainly by obscure rock bands. I got so into it that if you mentioned any band outside of dance music to me, I could probably give you an entire discography. The problem was is that I had to go mostly on word of mouth and the music press, since such bands were not (by definition) played on the radio. Now the music press give some very medicre 4 and 5 stars out of 5, and as such I now own many dull records by total unheard-ofs. But I did find the odd gem during this phase of mine, and this is one of them.
It followed the general path of every classic in my collection. On first listen, appeared little more than an average rock album. I thought On and On was very pretty, but that the album suffered from a general lack of tunefulness. But, inexplicably, it got stuck in my discman and was all I listened to for quite a while.
It was during this time that I started to hear just how good the vocal harmonies were, how deep the textures of each song were, how soulful Crispin Hunt's vocals are. I also noticed how well the album held up as a whole. There was definitely something about this album, that special thing that no-one quite knows what is, that separates the classics from the merely good.
One of those albums that gets better with each play, in trying to pick my favourite tracks I listed three quaters of the album! Lost myself is so brilliant and I have no idea why, Happy again has the most beautiful chord change in the chorus that I have ever heard, Jesus Christ is one of the best heavy rock song ever, and Over our bodies is an improved, more emotional version of Radiohead's Lucky.
I'd recommend this to anyone, and I don't say that about many albums. I suppose it would particularly appeal to fans of the radiohead/pavement scene, but anyone really into music would like it given time.