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Customer reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 30 June 2010
Its been 5 years since the last album but this has been worth the wait (although don't leave it too long til the next).
The album is full of well crafted songs that stick in your mind long after you have finished playing them.
So far this is my album of the year....
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VINE VOICEon 3 June 2010
This is lovely sunny music that's arrived just in time for you to put your shorts on, drop your cabriolet hood and go cruising around the countryside with this CD blasting out of your speakers. This is head and shoulders above both Man Made and Howdy. My favourites (so far) are Baby Lee, When I Still Have Thee, Shock & Awe and the outstanding Raymond McGinley song The Fall. These will all sound superb live and a London appearance cannot come soon enough. Whoever said Raymond's songs aren't up to it needs their head examining. Where would we be without "Feel" "Your Love Is The Place" "About You" "Verisimilitude" "I Don't Know" from albums past. I love the contrast between the three songwriters and their vocal styles...long may they continue.
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on 1 June 2010
Since their mid-90s heyday the Fannies have taken their collective
foot off the gas a little, and their fans have learnt to be a patient lot. This, only their second release since 2000s unspectacular 'Howdy' is sure to be met with eager anticipation by those still entranced by their last album 'Man Made'. So is it worth the wait? The answer, happily, is yes. The ambience is slightly mellower than on some previous outings; a mellow, druggy 1970s vibe prevails throughout, especially in the keyboard sounds. Much of this album brings to mind the soundscapes of 'Zuma'-era Neil Young, and never has the Big Star influence been more apparent. There are still a couple of old-school classics though, with 'Shock and Awe' and 'When I Still Have Thee' recalling the glorious heights they scaled with 'Grand Prix' and 'Bandwagonesque' all those years ago. It's a grower, to be sure, with new delights revealed on each new listen, but overall it lacks a little of the immediacy and panache that characterises their best work. Those new to the band would do well to delve deep into the back catalogue before sampling this one, but it's sure to be treasured by their loyal army of long-standing fans. Now let's just hope we don't have to wait another five years for the next one.
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on 2 January 2015
The weakest songs are mostly the contribution of Norman Blake: When I Still Have Thee, Baby Lee (an unfortunate choice for single) and The Back of My Mind. Raymond McGinley is the main man. All McGinley's songs on Shadows are excellent whereas Love's Shock and Awe doesn't quite reach their level and the latter's Sometimes I Don't Believe in Anything is a bit too much Teenage Fanclub doing The Boo Radleys.

McGinley's voice has aged beautifully: it smoulders, full of character. The voices were always their weakest point: the Byrds-y sweetness didn't match the Neil Young guitar/Big Star rest. McGinley puts it over beautifully here though, up close and meaningful. Just listen to Today Never Ends and The Fall to see what I mean. And The Past and Live With the Seasons are just as good. The best song here by Love is Sweet Days Waiting and the best song of all is McGinley's Today Never Ends, which benefits greatly from Love's bassline.
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on 19 July 2010
I thought TFC's last but one album "Howdy" was a lovely piece and it is maturing nicely (but hey, it got me through a break-up, so...) but I felt that "Man-Made" was a little thin, with only Norman's songs standing out.

This LP promised the same thinness and on the first 2 or three listens I was a little dissapointed - nice noises but where's the passion?

THEN, all of a sudden, the tunes, the harmonies, the instrumentations and the lyrics hit you all at once and you realise this LP is SWOONY - light, airy, colourful and sweet, it is mature fanclub, packed with glistening moments and with an even spread of achievement across the personnel. The absolute platinum stand -out for me is Gerry Love's gorgeous "Shock and Awe" - as lovely and blissful a song as he has written in the past 10 years.

If you had left the Fannies behind, come back. This is a sweet and tender delight of a record that will be the soundtrack to your summer and maybe your autumn too. Think of it as the third part of a trilogy with the softer spoken "Howdy", "Man-Made" and now "Shadows". Heavenly stuff.
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on 15 October 2014
I need to state my credentials here , listening to this album as I am, some four years after its release, like someone who has just eagerly grabbed a favourite band;s new album. I didn't catch Teenage Fanclub the first time around. Until last year I had only heard the majestic Ain't That Enough on the Shine 97 compilation ,but I always loved that track and in 2013 I decided to buy the 5 album package (Bandwagonesque, Thirteen, Grand Prix, Songs from Northern Britain and Howdy). That has to be biggest bargain ever! I have played all five albums constantly ever since, in bewilderment that TFC don't have more widespread recognition.

All the aforementioned albums have a high % of killer tracks and a few that aren't so good. What I love about this album is that there are no duff tracks, which is leading me to rate Shadows as possibly their best album - definitely the most consistent.

I've read the TFC reviews arguing that Raymond McGinley's songs on the older albums are not as strong as Gerard and Normans', and I must say I understand that viewpoint. However, what I love about this album is the strength of Ray's songs and his vocal delivery - his voice seems to have mellowed and matured. I think his clutch of four songs is probably the strongest of the three writers on Shadows. His highlight is The Fall - beautiful melody, lyrics and vocal delivery, but all three writers are on form. Norman's highpoint is The Back of my Mind - all west coast harmonies and jangling guitars. Gerard's Shock & Awe is classic Fanclub - right up there with their best.

If you like the Fannies or just love great music...buy this album. The quality of the songs is stunning. I hope one day they will they get the recognition they deserve?
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on 13 August 2010
The good ol' Teenage Fan Club, now 20 years into the business of releasing albums. From the grungey/grebbo Catholic Education to an established formula of soft, melodious, guitar-led rock strictly their own (Songs from Northern Britain) via indie pop-rock masterpieces such as Bandwagonesque and Grand Prix. This new LP is in the vein of Songs from Northern Britain, like the 3 or 4 albums before. Yes, there is an early Big Star / Byrds influence, but with 3 capable songwriters, Teenage Fanclub are more than able to bring their own sound and stamp to the fore. However, it is not that easy to pick up the differences between this album and its direct predecessors. Why change the formula if it's good and keeps a sizeable - if middle-aged - public?
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on 2 June 2010
Once hailed as the next big thing, way back in the early 90's, Teenage Fanclub continued to make critically acclaimed albums that were generally ignored by all but a rabid and loyal fan base. They've also, unfairly, been accused of making the same record over and over again.
Now free of major label concerns the band have finally delivered a long player that may well reverse their fortunes and give them a much deserved hit. There isn't any radical reworking of style or sound but there is a sense of precision and a surety of touch lacking in previous releases.
Teenage fan club are still in thrall to the Bryds, Big Star and Crosby Stills & Nash but on Shadows there are also echo's of Crowded House - the folky `When I Still Have Thee', Beatles - `The Past' & `Dark Clouds' and in `Baby Lee' the catchiest single they've ever released. Much like the equally retro minded Pugwash, Teenage Fanclub take the best bits from their hero's and mould them into new and contemporary shapes.
It's also worth noting that those trademark three and four part harmonies have never sounded stronger and proudly take centre stage on most of the tracks - `Into The City' even manages an excellent Beachboys homage.
Gone are the grungy distorted guitars, murky productions and experimentation at the expense of tunes. In are fully realised arrangements, big choruses and three singer songwriters at the peak of they're powers. Gorgeous.
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on 29 May 2010
Just got my signed copy of Shadows(from another retailer I'm afraid) in the post this morning. Only played it a couple of times but on initial listen it is Blake's songs that stick in my head. Baby Lee, the single, obviously had a bit of a head start and it really is up there with the Fannies finest. Likewise When I Still have thee is beautiful. The album reminds me a bit of Northern Songs which although an amazing album was a bit of a grower.

Edit: Having listened to this religously for the last couple of weeks I still love Normans songs but Ray and Gerry's songs have really grown on me too. Sweet days Waiting is possibly Gerry's best ballad ever and Ray's the Fall is awesome too.
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on 9 October 2010
For listeners already familiar with Teenage Fanclub's sound through the years, this album might seem like an old friend. Yes it has got the same country rock/ pop feel that they have been using for a number of years. But yet again they get it right.
The songs are yet more gems to add to an already impressive body of work over 20 years.
For any fan or somebody yet to be converted this is yet another very good Teenage Fanclub album.
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