Teenage Fanclub: Shadows

I feel like I’ve got exactly one day to post this. Summer is most definitely here and this is the record for it, but it’s going to rain on Sunday. So it’s got to be today.

Teenage Fanclub are often dismissed by Lazy Journalists as merely the sum of their influences – Byrds, Big Star, Beach Boys harmonies, etc – but I think they’ve achieved something much more important. They’ve worked out what joy sounds like. They’ve got the chords for it and everything. I know people say these things are learned, that it’s just a series of sounds we associate with happiness, but I think if you could make endorphins sing it would sound like this. And TFC are also spectacularly good at ‘doing a pastoral’ without making you want to gag. They’ve made many great albums, but 1997’s Songs From Northern Britain stands out as a series of songs about getting out of town, taking a deep breath, and counting your blessings.

And with this new album, their first for five years, they’ve gone back to that idea. It’s not 100% bubblegum – though I’d love to hear them do that – and there are brass and strings to flesh out the guitars and keyboards. It’s their most consistent record for ages. But the songs I fall in love with are the ones that seem to exactly capture the feeling I get when I wake up and realise that it’s a beautiful day, or that there’s love and happiness enough to offset the grind and grit. And here is a sunrise, ain’t that enough? Sometimes it is. Course it is.

And there are so many of these songs on this record. I give you two, though the shortlist was almost the entire album, plus one that’s been around a bit longer.

And I hope it’s sunny where you are. And that it’s enough.

When I Still Have Thee – Teenage Fanclub – Shadows

Sometimes I Don’t Need To Believe In Anything – Teenage Fanclub – Shadows

Ain’t That Enough – Teenage Fanclub – Songs From Northern Britain

Buy anywhere you can, from this lot for example, but you can also see what TFC are up to here and the superb forum is here



About jkneale

BothBarsOn's London correspondent.

Posted on June 5, 2010, in Album reviews and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. A welcome return in all sorts of ways.

  2. James, I think we were both in thrall to this when I saw you last month, and it’s still on heavy rotation alongside the Divine Comedy (as reviewed elsewhere on BBO by your esteemed, etc). There are 3/4 songs on here that stand up against anything else in their back catalogue, which is a feat for the four old weegie farts!

    I saw them in Edinburgh last month, and they were pretty good.The new stuff sounded good despite the bests attempts of some dodgy venue acoustics.

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