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I listened to it once, then stuck the CD back in it's case and onto my shelf where it gathered dust for a while. This album sounded really poor, like anything had just been stuck together. Then one day I decided to give it another listen, I was hooked!
Thirteen is still TFC, perhaps the guitars are just louder than normal here and there, it does sound a bit rushed and the production of the album isn't quite as good as usual. But despite not sounding as polished as other TFC albums, this album still has a certain charm and appeal.
"Norman 3" is my fave off the album, "120 Mins" is sweet enough for any other TFC album and among others, "Radio" and the excellent "Song To The Cynic" are also top tunes. This album is probably Teenage Fanclub musically at their worst but it still gets 4/5. That just shows the quality of (who must be) the most forgotten band of recent times. TFC fans will know what I'm talking about.
If you haven't got any TFC album, then buy Grand Prix, S.F.N.B. or Bandwagonesque first. Then consider this one.
Although it starts promisingly, with Hang On's strings and sensitivity, The Cabbage's scathing lyrics yet jaunty tune, and Radio, things quickly go a little more awry. Norman 3 is a pretty big offender - the repeated lyric gets very dull at the end, making for a peculiar choice of single, and its no surprise that it faield to trouble the charts. Plenty of the others just go on too long and fail to quite strike the right emotional chords.
All the same, a few tracks do. 120 Minutes and especially Fear Of Flying are slow-burners with impeccable style and poise, with a lovely "Hey hey hey" added to the outro of the latter.