Friends of Rachel Worth
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Top Customer Reviews
In some ways, not too much has changed. Apart from the fact that this album doesn't feature the ubiquitous double-L in the title, there are 10 songs, as always split evenly between the two songwriters. Sleater-Kinney drummer Janet Weiss does a great approximation of Lindy Morrison's unique style before those 80s production teams straightened her out, reinforcing the parallels between this and the Go-Betweens early work, particularly on the edgier Forster songs like Spirit and the obviously autobiographical German Farmhouse.
In other ways, of course, this is a completely different group and, at times, there is a nagging feeling that this is in fact not quite the Go-Betweens but two solo albums grafted together. If anything is really missing, it's the beautiful melodies and additional instrumentation that Amanda Brown gave the band's last two albums, Tallulah and 16 Lover's Lane.
In this sense, this album is not a continuation from where the Go-Betweens left off, but it's very definitely a worthwhile new beginning. Most of the album is very strong, and some of the songs rank with the pair's best work. Forster's He Lives My Life is the centrepiece, a wryly beautiful study of what might have been. And Surfing Magazines is one of his funniest ever songs, his charmingly flat singing not hiding a neat and very quirky hook.Read more ›
With regard to the Friends of Rachel Worth, I would advise anyone not to obssesively compare this album to what the Go-Betweens released in the 80s. Yes, "Streets of Your Town" deserved the NMEs rating of the best single released in the 1980s, but that honor doesn't obligate the Go-Betweens to continue to write this song over and over again. Instead, view this album as Robert Forster and Grant McLennan bringing their individual life experiences in the 90s back into the collective enterprise that is the Go-Betweens. As the circumstances of Robert's life change (wife, children etc..) he like any person is apt to reflect upon his life, what it means that a generation after him now exists, and to contrast his current life to his past. For instance, "Surfing Magazines" is a brilliant take on Robert's view of himself as an outsider to the prevailing "surfie" culture that existed in the 70s when he was growing up in Brisbane. The song both simultaneously mocks this lifestyle and the fact that he once yearned for it. If that doesn't show progress in his writing, I'm not sure what does.
Similarly, Grant is showcasing his songs in a low-fi setting-somehat similar to the production values of Robert's solo efforts.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This album is like a shimmering, laid-back roadtrip, from the wonder of "Magic in Here", the melancholy storytelling of "He lives my Life", and ending with the heady ambiguity of... Read morePublished on April 18, 2008 by Reader
Being almost of an age with Robert Forster and the now late, great Grant McLennan, I find the transformation of the Go-Betweens from the wry, literate indie 80's band nobody ever... Read morePublished on December 16, 2006 by Liz Nicholson
One of the rare bands that bowed out in an unquestionable high(in what's arguably their masterpiece-1988's "16 Lovers Lane")the Go Betweens nonetheless decided to reconvene 12... Read morePublished on June 21, 2005 by Tezcatlipoca
What can you be disappointed in when one of the best bands ever comes back together again. This is like John Lennon and George Harrison coming back from the dead and Paul... Read morePublished on December 20, 2003 by Amazon Customer
Not so much a dramatic 'comeback' as never been away! I love this album, it grows with every listen. Read morePublished on July 31, 2002
Perhaps I'm not well-qualified to comment on this release. My exposure to the Go-Betweens has been limited to years of ownership (and enjoyment) of an excellent now-deleted... Read morePublished on March 27, 2002 by Randall E. Adams
Good 'un--the songs about hanging out in Bavaria, checking out the latest glossy American surfing magazine, are quite evocative. Read morePublished on December 6, 2001 by Henry Zeno
It may be unfair to compare "FORW" to the Go-Betweens' rich, past body of work. Over 10 years elapsed since they recorded their last album, "16 Lovers Lane," and creative nucleus... Read morePublished on October 10, 2001 by Lypo Suck
At long last, Robert Forster and Grant McLennan (the veritable Lennon/McCartney songsmiths from Down Under) are reunited as The Go-Betweens after more than 10 years. Read morePublished on February 23, 2001 by Michael Paulsen