23 February 2013

23rd Feb - Grant Lee Buffalo's Fuzzy

Artist – Album: Grant Lee Buffalo - Fuzzy
Released:  23rd February 1993   
Sounds Like: A drunken night in a smoke filled bar

I first struck upon this album nearly ten years ago when reading an article on the most underrated albums chosen by readers of the brilliant but now sadly extinct music, film & TV magazine The Word. To the esteemed contributors the idea of underrated wasn’t restricted to just albums that hadn’t sold well, or albums that hadn’t got the critical reception they deserved, or even albums nobody had heard about, but any combination of the above. Fuzzy sold reasonably well for a debut album, charting at #72 in the UK album charts, and the critics responded enthusiastically to its chamber Americana stylings.  The issue here is that the album’s all but forgotten about today. Which s a shame because people are missing out on one of the better albums of the early 90s.

The songs on Fuzzy are built around Grant Lee Phillips’ stellar vocals and evocative imagery, meaning that few of them prescribe to formulaic verse-chorus structures or standard lengths. They shamble on as Phillips’ words dictate and feel like an eloquent drunk’s rich, rambling stories. Opener ‘The Shining Hour’ is a bewitched hoedown and is followed by the dazzling tale of an alternative Romeo and Juliet in ‘Jupiter and Teardrop’. The beguiling ‘Fuzzy’ is enriched by Phillips’ howling chorus and ‘The Hook’ has, well, a great hook. The guys try to wake their country from its soporifc lull with songs like ‘Stars ‘N’ Stripes’ and ‘America Snoring’ but they’re not bogged down by political agenda. To be honest, there isn’t a bad track on the album. It may be considered underrated but, for me, it deserves bare ratings bruv.

Albumaday... rating: 7/10

1.       The Shining Hour – 3:53
2.       Jupiter and Teardrop – 5:57
3.       Fuzzy – 4:59
4.       Wish You Well – 3:30
5.       The Hook – 4:13
6.       Soft Wolf Tread – 2:52
7.       Stars ‘N’ Stripes – 4:43
8.       Dixie Drug Store – 5:07
9.       America Snoring – 3:39
10.   Grace – 6:15
11.   You Just Have To Be Crazy – 3:35

Also released on the 23rd February:
2000: Air – The Virgin Suicides

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