This record (for it is indeed on vinyl) was in the first dozen or so I ever purchased. And this trio were one of the first I saw live on a semi-regular basis.
For a pimply-faced 15 year-old, these guys were a substantial step beyond the world of big-hair metal and unadulterated teen-targetted pop. Here were songs with substance and meaning, and music that was complex but approachable. Meanwhile, the three band members had sufficiently quirky personalities to make the stage show extra special.
23 years later (!!!) I return to give the album another spin. And it holds up very well.
The songs, of course, have that familiarity that springs from obsessive teen scrutiny (and regular mainstream radio rotation). But, more than that, they are still engaging, slightly obtuse compositions. The lyrics retain that universality and comtemporariness (a word?), while the music is lush.
Side A of the album is much poppier and laden with their classic singles (Mean to Me, Don’t Dream…) and more directly invokes the skiffly-Beatles aspect of Finn’s songwriting. Side B is the darker, artier set with less traditional verse-chorus etc structures. This is when the band get closer to The Cure in sound.
These guys deserve their accolades.
File under: It’s nice when your memories aren’t sullied
p.s. I know there’s a NZ-Oz ownership dispute on these guys, but I believe there are sufficient Melbourne links here to warrant me labelling the ‘Oz Artists’