14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Derivative, but still the most perfect pop album ever made,
This review is from: Bandwagonesque (Audio CD)
As a Joy Division and Nick Cave fan, this isn't the kind of album I'm meant to like. However, this album simply contains more perfect pop songs than any other album. It is highly derivative of the Beatles, Byrds, Big Star, Faces, Slade, Stone Roses, but it actually adds to all to its sources to produce the perfect retrospective of all that has been good about pop over the previous 30 years (now 40 years !). In particular, The Concept must have the best opening lines of any song "She wears denim whereever she goes, says she's going to buy a record by the Status Quo". "What you do to me" is one of the simplest 3-line songs endlessly repeated but endlessly catchy - it puts an ear-to-ear grin on my face and makes me remember the joy of falling in love for the first (and second, and third ...) time.
The second half of the album is simply flawless - Starsign, Metal Baby, Pet Rock, Sindwinder, Alcoholiday, Guiding Star and Is this music is probably the greatest sequence of songs ever put together by any band - there simply isn't a flaw in any of them. Alcoholiday encapsulates the enjoyment of completely losing control and responsibility, and getting f***ed by some complete stranger. Guiding Star sums up the feeling of hero-worship that all of us have at some point felt, and felt half-ashamed of, but still succumbed to. No matter that the object of Norman Blake's hero worship (Alex Chilton) was not a very nice man.
What really stands out over the whole album is the Norman Blake's raw vocals, the jangling and slightly delayed chords, the quality of the lyrics, subject matter (there's simply no substitute for teenage kicks when it comes to pop song lyrics), and the fact that it sounds like the kind of album the Beatles should have made, but never did.
If they have school discos in heaven, then Bandwagonesque is the first disc on God's playlist.