Friday, December 31, 2010

Albums of the year 2010

# 6. Teenage Fanclub - Shadows
(PeMa, May 31st 2010)



Shadows is the first new album from Teenage Fanclub in over five years. Five years where the chances of a new album have seem small since the band has been on a hiatus of sorts. So believe me when I say that I'm incredibly happy that not only did we get a new Teenage Fanclub album, but we got a really really good one. This is one of those albums that just seems like they've always been around. The first single, Norman Blake penned "Baby Lee" already is a classic Teenage Fanclub song.

The three songwriters in the band have written four songs each and all of them are almost equally great though I usually fall for Norman Blake's songs first. He has always been the songwriter that I like best in the band because of his hum-a-long catchy melodies. That said, both Gerard Love (the second strongest writer) and Raymond McGinlay's songs are great.

"Into the City" is one of the real highlights of the album, with it's almost Big Star-y melody and harmonies that The Beach Boys would have been proud of. "Shock and Awe" is another classic Fannies song penned by Love. McGinlay's songs are often of the more reflective kind, my favourite on this album being "Today Never Ends" which sounds just the way a rainy day sounds - that being in a good way.

But the top of the list highlights for me are once again the sheer beauty and simpleness of Norman Blake's songs "Dark Clouds" and showstopper "When I Still Have Thee" with it's great lyric - "The Rolling Stones wrote a song for me, it's a minor song in a major key..".

A great "comeback" for a truly fantastic band that has grown older with such dignity - meaning less rockers but still great and catchy tunes.

Up there with their classic albums Bandwagonesque, Grand Prix and Songs From Northern Brittain.



Teenage Fanclub - Dark Clouds

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