29 May 2013

29th May - Teenage Fanclub's Grand Prix

Artist – Album: Teenage Fanclub – Grand Prix
Released:  29th May 1995

Sounds Like: Sun soaked genius

When the Fannies (yep, that's their unfortunate nickname...) are on top form there really is no one better. No, not even Oasis, despite Liam Gallagher’s infamous backdoor brag that Teenage Fanclub were “the second best band in the world”. In truth, the only problem for those who want to delve into their back catalogue is trying to sort the glorious from the WTF-able. Well, I’ll make it clear – Bandwagonesque, Thirteen, Songs from Northern Britain and today’s album Grand Prix are bloody good, and you may as well avoid the rest.

Their music is a sparkling synthesis of the west coast harmonies of the Beach Boys, the jangly pop of The Byrds, the power melodies of Big Star and the alternative indie mentality of the best nineties bands. But better. Probably.

Whereas Bandwagonesque is generally perceived to be the high water mark of their almost 25 year career, Grand Prix lags not far behind, and, whilst it slightly lacks the former album’s giddy energy, it’s certainly the more consistent of the two.

The sunny power pop of the likes of ‘About You’, ‘Sparky’s Dream’,I’ll Make It Clear’, ‘Discolite’ and set highlight ‘Don’t Look Back’ are counterpointed fantastically by the gorgeous slow acoustic songs of ‘Mellow Doubt’, ‘Going Places’ and ‘I Gotta Know’. The only dud note is the loud/soft-dynamics-gone-mad of ‘Hardcore/Ballad’ and, by the time you’ve got to that final track, it’s already too late – you’re hooked.

Albumaday... rating: 8/10

1.       About You – 2:41
2.       Sparky’s Dream – 3:17
3.       Mellow Doubt – 2:42
4.       Don’t Look Back – 3:43
5.       Verisimilitude – 3:31
6.       Neil Jung – 4:48
7.       Tears – 2:43
8.       Discolite – 3:07
9.       Say No – 3:12
10.   Going Places – 4:28
11.   I’ll Make It Clear – 2:33
12.   I Gotta Know – 3:27
13.   Hardcore/Ballad – 1:48

Listen to ‘Discolite’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4GDA9WdBXg

Also released on the 29th May:
2000: Grandaddy – The Sophtware Slump
Also released on the 29th May:
2009: Paolo Nutini – Sunny Side Up

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