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Lush go Pop!,
This review is from: Lovelife (Audio CD)Lovelife represents a move away from the shoegazing dream pop of previous albums, Spooky and to a certain extent, Split and provides a lurch towards the mainstream. Against the backdrop of 1996's more traditional Britpop sound, Lush produced a lighter textured, poppier sound for this, their third album.
Gone are the high-pitched harmonies of previous work and in come lower register melodies of cracked emotion. Lush have never shied away from lyrical directness and here it is displayed in abundance - 'Childcatcher', 'Ladykillers' and 'Ciao!' all exhibit a biting wit that gives an edge to their infectious tunes. The effect of this shift in style is to emphasise Lush's excellent songwriting rather than submerge it in a mass of effects.
However, whilst the writing on this album offers many songs up to Lush's usual high standard, the overall tone is a little patchy with a few songs included that are merely competent. This is all the more surprising when there exist several excellent songs languishing as B sides on the singles lifted from the album. Why no 'Ex' (possibly one of Miki's finest songs)? Why no 'Tinkerbell', 'Outside World' or 'Dear Me'? There is a curious lack of quality control on this album, which has resulted in some of their better material being left off in favour of one or two ho-hum tunes.
But in the final analysis, this is still a fine album, buoyed by some exuberant playing and wry lyrics. We may only surmise where they might have gone, musically, after this as their career was cruelly curtailed shortly after this release. A great shame.