Teenage Fanclub: Here (Merge) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine

Teenage Fanclub

Here

Merge

Sep 07, 2016 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


The lyrics to the new Teenage Fanclub record should sound familiar to anyone who's sat through a screed of well-meaning but unsolicited advice from an older uncle. It's a trap recent Hold Steady records have also fallen intorather than imparting perspective through clever storytelling or interpretative lyric, the songs just tell the listener point-blank what's important. Consider "Hold On," which repeats rhymed variations of the mantra "hold on to your life, to your dreams/don't get lost in their schemes/just hold on to your dreams," before concluding "simple pleasures are all we need." The earnestness would be almost charming if it weren't for the rampant use of cliché and milquetoast production: it can be a fine line between power pop and soft rock.

The lyrical crimes parade unobstructed through much of Here, confusing platitudes for profundity. If the oil-painted waterfall album art doesn't give it away, titles like "Live in the Moment" should. The song, of course, does contain the line "nothing lasts forever." Only on occasion does the band seem capable of balancing the infectious melodicism, guitar squall, and lyrical acuity of the 1991 classic Bandwagonesque, notably on "The Darkest Part of the Night." While often bland, it is a feel-good record, and Norman Blake, Gerard Love, and Raymond McGinley's vocal chords have aged well. All three vocalists are still capable of ecstatic, harmonious sugar highs like "The First Sight" and cascading vocal lines on "It's a Sign." Teenage Fanclub sounds positively content, and even tranquil. It's not the worst fate for a group of rock lifers, but it doesn't make for the most compelling listening. (www.teenagefanclub.com)

Author rating: 5/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10



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Disque dur
September 13th 2016
8:18am

Guys, great job! Thanks to you I’m discovering a lot of new bands and records, that’s why I love reading you every week.