340. The Go-Betweens – “The Friends of Rachel Worth”

In a box next to my stereo are about 20 cassettes – albums which I can’t bring myself to discard despite no longer having a player thereof.

Among them is a much-loved greatest hits compilation from the second best entity to emerge from Brisbane (the #1 being yours truly) – the Go-Betweens.

I really should get around to picking up said album on CD or download as it contains some tasty nuggets.

This here is the comeback album from the Go-Bs, released 12 years after their previous. It showcases the composing and singing of the two stalwarts of the band, Robert Forester and Grant McLennan, backed by one of my favourite live acts – US lasses Sleater Kinney.

The sound is much more laid back than anything the Kinney chicks recorded elsewhere, with the most rocky the Velvet Underground-like German Farmhouse.

The Go-Betweens’ magic always rested on the juxtaposition (has it taking me 340 reviews to use this term?) of the style of Forster versus McLellan. The former is the dandy, the verbose, the melodramatic. The latter is the sweety, the softy, the popster. On their own their tunes often seem too overthought or too twee, but alongside each other they become a sum much greater than their parts.

This comeback is better than most, which the vitality and relevance still present, if not perhaps the true magic.

Hey, and Jools loves them (and that’s a big recommendation in my world):

File under: Nice to see old friends back in town

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One response to “340. The Go-Betweens – “The Friends of Rachel Worth”

  1. You have to luv a band who get a bridge named after them:

    http://messandnoise.com/articles/3990458

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