18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Teenage Fanclub - Shadows and light,
This review is from: Shadows (Audio CD)
The recent death of Teenage Fanclub's great inspiration Alex Chilton from Big Star served to remind you in addition quite how long the boys from Glasgow themselves have been "treading the boards". Like Big Star they have made over their inestimable career some of the most delicious pop/rock songs this side of the Pecos. The list must include songs like "Everything Flows", "Neil Jung", "Sparky's Dream", "Alcoholiday" "Ain't that enough" and "Starsign" which are up as some of the greatest British songs of the past two decades. It only seems like a nano second ago that "Bandwagonesque" their second album was actually topping Nirvana's "Nevermind" in end of year polls and indeed Kurt Cobain never hid his affection for the Fannies and regularly name checked them in press interviews.
Obviously if your looking for Flying Lotus style experimentation in a Teenage Fanclub album look elsewhere. Their strength is always in their songs with song writing duties generally shared between Norman Blake, Gerard Love and Raymond McGinley. As you would expect Roger McQuinn style harmonies predominate and songs packed with warm melodies and killer hooks. To be fair on this album they do branch out with the sumptuous piano ballad "Dark Clouds" and a guest spot for Euros Childs from Welsh wonders Gorky's. Other highlights includes the melodic rocker "Shock and Awe" which is vintage Teenage Fanclub and is guaranteed to bring an extra skip to your step, the truly lovely "Into the city" which is one of their best songs in a long long while and the slow rolling mesmerising country ballad "Today never ends" with echoes of Crosby Stills and Nash is excellent. Opener "Sometimes I don't need to believe in anything" demands no more than you lie back and stare into blue skies and be enveloped by its warmth. As for downsides the single "Baby Lee" borders on repetition and is a bit Teenage Fanclub by numbers and a couple of songs here are on the weak side. Nevertheless you can forgive this band anything. Nick Hornby's excellent book "31 Songs" cites "Songs from Northern Britain" as one of his favourite ever albums and two out of thirty one songs are from Teenage Fanclub. Can I also use this opportunity to request that Rhodri Jones who borrowed my copy of "Grand Prix" in 1996 return it as a matter of urgency! A plea to you dear Amazon readers please don't forget about Teenage Fanclub, they are a quality assured and a national treasure.