4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 18 May 2006
Frosting on the Beater should not work. The marriage of harmonies and grunge should sound artificial and in total opposition harmonically. In fact it works magnificently is that the grunge is powerpopified and the melodies are all inventive and suprising - being stretched or clipped when you least expect them to work around the arrangements . The result is songs like Flavour of the Month and Solar Sister which stay in your brain forever. Thirteen years on it is as influential and fresh as ever. This is, very simply , the Revolver of powerpop.
Now if they'd only put their version of I am the Cosmos on too ....
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Frosting on the Beater is an example of guitar-pop at its finest, The Posies finding themselves alongside such acts as Buffalo Tom, Jellyfish, Scud Mountain Boys, Sugar, Teenage Fanclub & Velvet Crush as a classic jangly-guitar band, both post-Beatles/Big Star & post-Husker Du/Replacements. Crudely labelled grunge, as they stemmed from Seattle, they found themselves signed to Geffen (home to Hole, Nirvana & Sonic Youth)- though FOTB really seems to be looked over then and especially after. This is the album Lemonheads only really half delivered, 48-minutes of dark melodic pop bliss that ranks up there with other similar cult joys as Sloan and Matthew Sweet.
Don Fleming (Bandwagonesque, Sweet Oblivion)is the ideal producer, capturing the band in tight, melodic glory- this is really where a band like Ride should have gone, rather than the retro path they chose instead. Every track is a classic, from the pulsing opener Dream All Day to single Solar Sister & Flavor of the Month (which amusingly was not only a great pop single, but nodded to the fashionable music scene they were a part of). Like heroes Big Star (whom Auer & Stringfellow would join when Chilton & Stephens decided to reform Big Star in the 90s), there is a dark side to the perfect guitar-pop- recalling Radio City and such records as Sixteen Blue (The Replacements), Games (Husker Du) & What She Said (The Smiths). It's sad that bands like Weezer get cited over this lot- as too the silly EMO-scene- Jimmy Eat World are basically a tribute band to this neglected one! Love Letter Boxes nods to the dark stuff, while Definite Door, Burn & Shine & 20 Questions have the same sonic allure as the rejuvinated Neil Young (from Eldorado to Arc Weld).
The latter stages of the album shift into bleak mode, Lights Out sounds like a collision between the late Elliott Smith (Either/Or) & The Fall (This Nation's Saving Grace). While How Sge Lied By Living opens with a pulsing riff worthy of Screaming Trees, it's refrain classic skinny whiteindiekid blues, we all live in a post-Morrissey world: "don't tell me, don't tell me, don't tell me your love life..."- the guitars go into overload, setting the tone for the closing anthem Coming Right Along. This is the calm after the storm, the Take Care of the 90s- a minimal track from a bruised plain of existence, auto-suggestion suggesting a way out from the usual problems of addictio, heartbreak, or whatever: "Fill the daytime with indifference...shuffle alone against the darkness...and please be strong- you don't know it, but you're coming right along..."- again, easily up there with anything by Elliott Smith!
Frosting on the Beater is one of the key rock albums of the 1990s, easily ranking alongside such releases as Copper Blue, Everclear, Sweet Oblivion, Crooked Rain Crooked Rain, Grand Prix,Let Me Come Over, Suicane Gratification, Nevermind, Bakesale & Girlfriend. It's a lost classic from a decade simplified to Grunge-Britpop- & at this price, it would be obscene not to buy it! The curious should also track down Ken Stringfellow's solo work (that he did between stints with The Posies & REM) & The Minus 5, who featured REM-regular Scott McGaughey & Wilco's Jeff Tweedy...
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 28 March 2000
Frosting on the beater is sadly an un-heard masterpiece of our generation. This album flows from song to song like no other and is a total must buy. It may not be a fashionable album (in this electronic age) but I rate this as high as classics such as Air's 'Moon Safari', Jeff Buckley's 'Grace' , Big Stars 'Sister Lovers' and TFC'S 'Bandwagonsesque'.
Take a listen and you will fall in love forever...
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 25 November 2002
It's rare to come across an album of such wealth and beauty. Loved by bands and jurno's a like. The Posies were / are(?) the perfect balance of post Sonic Youth guitar rock and the power pop genius of Big Star.
Frosting on the Beater, the second studio, is without doubt their crowing glory. The fact this has for so long been overlooked by a generation of grunge-ites is bordering on criminal. There must be a law against it somewhere, surely?!
From the off, "Dream All Day", "Solar Sister", strong-arm pop classics right through to the very last note of the heartbreaking "Coming Right Along" this is an album of intelligence and beauty.
This album may not change your life, but it will sure give it a good go!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 8 December 2002
What can you say about this record? Possibly the Posies finest moment (as many have said) but granted, this is a mighty fine LP. It contains SO many great Posies tracks. It's one of the few CD's I can listen to from start to finish without feeling bored. Everything about this album is perfect. If you want rock, pop, charming lyrics, GREAT harmony, and pure beauty, this is the record you want.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 31 May 2006
I came accross this album only recently, long after its origional release date, through a friend who thought I may like it and holy crud was I pleased. This album is fresher than 99.9% of modern music even though it was released ages ago! This album has been played to death ever since without it becoming repetetive and without losing any of its gloss and power.
Solar Sister, Flavour of the Month, and Definate Door have firmly established themselves as three of my all time favourite tunes. The rest of the songs are all well written, performed and produced with no tune letting the side down.
Apparently these guys were around at the time when grunge was in its ascendency, but the likes of Nirvana, Soundgarden, etc. make unlikely peers. These guys make a far more melodic brand of guitar music that sooths rather than pounds, and prefer layered harmonies to pained screams. Great album.
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 30 August 2007
Got to admit this album does have some amazing tracks on it - Solar Sister and Flavour of the Month - are up there as some of the best alt/rock tunes from the 90'sa hitting the nail on the head with the blend of powerful grungy guitars, gracious melodies and harmonies.
Comparsions to bands like red kross and teenage fanclub are fair, and their is a clear influence of Big Star and British invasion too.
the album lets itself down on the fact that the rest of the songs pale into comparison with the 2 or 3 amazing ones.
I found a couple of the middle tracks a bit uninteresting - they were very 'slushy' and relied too much on a drigey sound, and felt quite slow.
Overall I found the album great for the 1st half but kinda drifts off towards the latter half with there not being any particularly good hooks and too much grunge.
But it's definatley a worthwhile purchase for any nirvana fans wanting to hear what other bands were doing at that time - alternatively for those fans of melodic power pop - get this for melody with a bit more bite.