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Bright Yellow Bright Orange

4.3 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 18, 2003
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Product Description

Ten shimmering slices of crystalline pop and delirious rock. Contains a bonus, limited edition disc (paper sleeve) with four never-before-heard tracks from the Bright Yellow Bright Orange and Friends Of Rachel Worth sessions 'Instant Replay', 'Woman Acros

Following 12 years of solo work, Robert Forster and Grant McLennan surprised faithful fans in 2000 with the much-lauded Friends of Rachel Worth, and the duo have come out swinging again. Forster may have hit his peak here. His wry, tightly crafted stories of human behavior form the core of the set’s strongest songs, highlighted by the brisk and jangly "Too Much of One Thing," the buoyant "Make Her Day," and the organ-adorned "Something for Myself." McLennan, on the other hand, delivers the goods in his usual straight-ahead, verse-chorus-verse fashion, providing an emotional refrain to sink our teeth into on "Poison in the Walls," and a wistful one on the elegiac "Unfinished Business." He seems to be moving in an even more accessible direction, while Forster’s work is wrapped in layers that are sheer joy to peel away. Bright Yellow, Bright Orange is further proof that the second half of the Go-Betweens’ career is one well worth following. --Lorry Fleming

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Caroline and I
  2. Poison in the Walls
  3. Mrs. Morgan
  4. In Her Diary
  5. Too Much of One Thing
  6. Crooked Lines
  7. Old Mexico
  8. Make Her Day
  9. Something for Myself
  10. Unfinished Business

Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 18, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Jet Set Records
  • ASIN: B000089CML
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #144,663 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's The Go-Betweens Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Like a love affair from the past, time has granted closure to the period encapsulated by the Go-Betweens' first six albums. From 1981's bleak and angular Send me a Lullaby to 1988's mature and elegiac 16 Lovers Lane, it seems that as a collective they managed to say so much, and maybe enough. It was a period marked with the passion of an impoverished band that moved 4000 miles from their Australian homeland to London -- and by the electrifying (and perhaps burdensome) genius of two young writers of considerable depth, Grant McLennan and Robert Forster. There were also, of course, the cliché drug problems, gratuitous label swindling, and incestuous romances that the world has come to associate with rock n' roll. Like a love affair conscious of its own inevitable death, it was a wonderful thing.
Bright Yellow Bright Orange, the second album since the Go-Betweens' reformation in 2000 (the first being 2000's Friends of Rachel Worth), can't escape being thought of as the icing on the cake of a relationship already consummated. Like a couple that have already gone through the fires of marriage and divorce only to come together again, the strangest torments have already passed. While Rachel Worth managed to conjure some of the old Go-Betweens spirit (a feat and expectation that mustn't have been easy), details such as indie rock touches from Sam Coomes (Quasi) on keyboards and heavy-handed production from Portland's Larry Crane put them in a pose they obviously weren't accustomed to.
The album also suffered from the loss of their secret weapon (and definer of their early classic sound), drummer Lindy Morrison, who was replaced by a pretty-good-but-not-perfect-choice, Sleater-Kinney's Janet Weiss.
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Format: Audio CD
The general opinion of "Rachael Worth" *seemed* to be "well it's good, but not quite up to par..." so I never picked it up (sorry guys). But I can say without reservation that this is one of the best Go Betweens albums I've heard yet. What makes it such a great album? Well, great songs of course! I think everything here is a winner, and there's a nice balance between soft introspection and feel-good pop tunes. "Poison In the Walls" & "Old Mexico" have rapidly worked their way into my list of favorites. If you're a bit uncertain if you'll be let down by the "new Go Betweens" sound, this one should seriously win you over. So pick up a copy and support these extraordinary yet overlooked songwriters who show they've still got the touch that won them such a devoted cult following.
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Format: Audio CD
Although I think "BYBO" is a step up from their last album - their 1st comeback record - "The Friends of Rachel Worth," I still can't shake the feeling that Forster/McLennan have lost something. For me, nothing here really equals the highs they consistently reached during the 80s. Basic, major chords and under-developed melodies hamper many of the new songs. Don't people remember when Grant would play those achingly pretty lead guitar parts, like "Part Company" and "Head Full of Steam"? Nothing on "BYBO" approaches the weak-in-the-knees beauty of songs like "Twin Layers of Lightning" or "Bow Down," or the mesmerizing, lilting melodicism of "Unkind & Unwise" or Streets of Your Town," or the rich guitar interplay of "5 Words" and "Rare Breed."

Despite that, "BYBO" does contain its share of well written, memorable songs, particularly from Grant, whose batch of tunes - packed with hooks and interesting chord progressions - has the edge over Forster's. Particularly strong is "Poison in the Walls," with its glorious yet slightly strange minor key change in the chorus, the bouncy, sophisticated 60s-tinged pop of "Old Mexico," and the deeply moving, spare, piano-based "Unfinished Business," (which sounds like an update of his similarly spare, piano-led "Dusty in Here," from "Before Hollywood"). The slow-paced, dreamy "Crooked Lines," is another highlight that vaguely recalls a much earlier tune, "Just a King in Mirrors."

Forster's songs don't seem to work as well. The opening "Caroline and I," contains amusing ruminations on being born in the same year as Princess Caroline of Monaco, but musically sounds like a lazy rehash of "La Bamba." "Make Her Day" is the sort of generic alterna-pop that could've been bashed out by any faceless indie band.
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By A Customer on February 23, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Another great effort from the Go-Betweens. In the early 1980's, their lyrics were better than the music. The music matched the lyrics by the late 1980s, and now the music has surpassed the lyrics, and that's only because they have such a warm and rich sound.
Bright Yellow, Bright Orange equals Friends of Rachel Worth, but has a poppier feel and is more consistent from beginning to end. Rachel was beautifully wistful and sad, but contained two or three or the band's worst numbers.

Grant McLennan's songs always range from good to great, so the strength of a Go-Betweens record rests on the unpredictable Robert Forster, and I love his songs on Bright Yellow. "Caroline and I," "Too Much of one Thing," and "Make Her Day," are among the best songs he's ever done. Simply infectious. Grant dominated early records like Before Hollywood, but Robert made a small leap forward on Spring Hill and took giant steps on Liberty Belle and the Black Diamond Express. This might be the first time he's better than Grant, though he might have been on Liberty Belle.
As others have said, this isn't Grant's best. He's merely good.
Anyway, I give this 4 to 4 1/2 stars, and remain pleasantly shocked at the comeback.
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