Teenage Fanclub - Songs From Northern Britain - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Teenage Fanclub - Songs From Northern Britain

by Bob Coyne Rating: Release Date:1997-07-18

Though there is no good reason why every man, woman and child alive shouldn't own Teenage Fanclub's entire catalogue, Songs from Northern Britain is the closest they came to distilling their essence on one album. On Songs from Northern Britain, the disparate charms of its three predecessors are synthesized into a record that is as close to perfect as makes no odds: the glittering Big Star-like melodies of Bandwagonesque, the languid Byrdsian melancholy of Thirteen, the crystalline Mitch Easter styled pop production of Grand Prix. If Songs from Northern Britain is the ideal thumbnail sketch of Teenage Fanclub, then the first single, "Ain't That Enough" was an impeccable summary of the entire album: an irresistible melody, set to ringing Rickenbackers, carrying a chorus that encapsulated Teenage Fanclub's signature bleary optimism: "Here is a sunrise, ain't that enough?"

Songs from Northern Britain is also noteworthy for a growing lyrical confidence and maturity. Teenage Fanclub's three songwriters have always been eerily attuned to each other's sensibilities and whether by coincidence or design Songs… finds Messrs Blake, Love and McGinley determined to see if there is a way of tempering the adolescent furies of rock & roll with the rueful wisdom of thirtysomethings who've been round the block once or twice. The answer, as demonstrated by "Start Again", "I Don't Want Control of You" and especially "Ain't That Enough", is a resounding yes. --Andrew Mueller

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