TEENAGE FANCLUB Shadows (Merge)
What more can I say about the Fannies? In the 90s, albums like Bandwagonesque, Thirteen, Grand Prix and Songs From Northern Britain supplied the soundtrack of my life. Building attractive structures from the foundations of the Beach Boys, the Byrds, Neil Young, Gram Parsons and Big Star, the Fannies have been an endearing source of musical epiphanies.
That said, I found the last two albums – Howdy and Man-Made – a little jaded, as if the band had run out of ideas. After an absence of five years, the Fannies are back with their ninth album – Shadows – and by all accounts, the break has certainly done them a world of good.
Stylistically, Shadows sounds closest to Songs From Northern Britain with its mellow, pastoral approach. No distortion, no modern-day special effects, the production is kept very clean and is highly reminiscent of Big Star’s #1 Record, with its gleaming guitars and sparkling vocal harmonies.
I don’t want to highlight any particular track because Shadows very much hangs together as a singular entity. Meaning that its an album in the former sense of the word, like Rubber Soul or Revolver was in the good old days. Warm memorable melodies are the order of the day enveloped with the appropriately lush production. So, check out Shadows and do listen from start to finish… best swallowed whole!