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Howdy

4.4 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Audio CD, December 18, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Scotland's Teenage Fanclub offers their sixth full-length. Twelve tracks of pop guitar genius inspired by Big Star and Badfinger. A solid album that you only need to hear once to get into.

Amazon.com

Followers of Teenage Fanclub will find no surprises on Howdy, as the band members continue to cultivate material from territory seeded by classic popsters such as the Byrds, Big Star, and XTC. Evoking the past while sounding perpetually contemporary is the talent upon which this group's longevity is based, and all 12 songs on this album feature lovelorn characters and vagabond hearts paraded before backdrops of the big, bouncy pop sounds that characterized 1970s chart-toppers. In the early 1990s (circa Thirteen), Teenage Fanclub used this sound to rail against alternative music scenesterism and its tendency to make, and glorify, one-hit wonders. But three albums later, the band members' anger has blunted and their focus has turned inward, leaving them prone to sharp introspection. With sweetly intelligent lyrics, a consistently epic sound on every well-crafted song, and Beach Boys-esque vocal harmonies that showcase the three singer-songwriters' enormous talents, Howdy is as good an album to own as almost any other by this enduring band. --Sarah A. Sternau
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 18, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Thirsty Ear
  • ASIN: B00005RDEC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,500 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Just call me a bold-faced liar. Were I an honest man, I'd have given "Howdy!" the five-star rating it deserves. But why tell Teenage Fanclub faithful something they already know? Any self-respecting fan has already bought the album; their reading of this review amounts to little more than an afterthought. These comments are intended for the uninitiated masses; the curious onlookers compelled to explore the murky depths of the indie pool in search of something decidedly less MTV inspired. Tread these waters carefully, friends! While discovering Teenage Fanclub may not be as remarkable a feat as unearthing Scotland's more famous offspring, the experience is pretty darn close. Granted, the Loch Ness monster may generate more tourist dollars for her native land, but I'm guessing she doesn't write songs nearly half as catchy.
"Howdy!" marks the sixth commercial release for Teenage Fanclub principals' Raymond McGinley, Norman Blake, and Gerard Love. Having spent the better part of a decade with little more than indie level recognition, you'd think the Scottish power popsters would be embittered by their lackluster chart success. Far from being soured, "Howdy!" -- with its jocularly dismissive title and album cover artwork more befitting a preschool pencil sketch -- reaffirms Teenage Fanclub as premier craftsmen of joyful, unadulterated pop. This is a collection of happy songs, yes, but deceptively so. Beneath the whimsical album title and colorful melodies, the boys are clearly dragging some emotional baggage. Fortunately, the Fannies were never ones to hide their feelings.
Ever the democracy, McGinley, Blake, and Love share songwriting responsibilities, with each contributing four tracks to the album.
Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
After a 3 year brake are the singer-.songwriter trinity of Blake, McGinley and Love back with their sixth studio album. And of course, they don`t disappoint. It all starts with the imminent first single "I need direction" with ba-ba-ba backing and the airy composition we have missed on the last couple of albums. It goes on with Raymond Mcginley compositions like the acoustic "Happiness" and feel good melodys like "I Can`t Find My Way Home" and "The Sun It Shines From You". This is different from all the sad, insensitive, cynisme, that has stamped weight to much of british pop music after "Ok, Computer." Howdy is Beach Boys, Beatles, Bigstar and Byrds, but most of all it`s Teenage Fanclub.
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By A Customer on November 10, 2000
Format: Audio CD
In response to the review below that criticized Howdy in the face of Songs From Northern Britain, I feel the record deserves more listens. Right out of the wrapper, I agree it seemed a bit pale, but after four or five run throughs, some tracks surfaced as perfect, perfect Fanclub songs. Love's "I Need Direction" (what a chorus) and "Near You" (there are the layers the below review claimed to miss) along with Blake's "Dumb Dumb Dumb" (hit me on the third try) and "If I Never See You Again" (they still love Big Star)are fantastic.
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Format: Audio CD
When I listen to Teenage Fanclub, I am thoroughly convinced that no one on earth has ever made such beautiful music. It's not really true, but it's also not much of a stretch.
Howdy is TFC's first release since 1997's Songs From Northern Britain, and while it may not be as uniformly lovely as that album, or as viscerally exciting as Bandwagonesque or Thirteen, it's certainly welcome and worthy of the Teenage Fanclub name. Howdy is probably stronger song-by-song than Grand Prix and will certainly please their cult fan base. And maybe make a few new ones among the million or so folks who purchased the most recent Travis album, which this crushes like a grape. Not that there's anything wrong with that...
What to expect? More of the same, mostly. Norman contributes the stunningly melodic "Accidental Life" and the bittersweet Chilton/Bell-esque "If I Never See You Again", and the hypnotic "Dumb Dumb Dumb", and (probably) my personal favorite, the radiant "Straight And Narrow"; Raymond comes through on the brilliant "I Can't Find My Way Home", and the gorgeous "Happiness", and Gerry expands his already overflowing songbook of bright pop gems with "Near You", the soul-tinged "Cul-De-Sac", and "I Need Direction", Howdy's Association-esque first single.
While it lacks Songs From Northern Britain's uniformed vision (and its ensemble harmonies), Howdy is more wonderful music from a band we are all lucky to share the planet with. Buy it now, and smile tomorrow.
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Format: Audio CD
Alright, so Bandwagonesque was SPIN magazine's #1 best album of the year. But since then TFC have been unjustly ignored in the US (and even in the UK to an extent). I'm sure this unfortunate trend will continue with "Howdy," but let me tell you...you guys are missing out! I have only listened to the album a couple times through so far, but Howdy contains some of their best songs - Cul De Sac, My Uptight Life, Near You, Dumb Dumb Dumb, The Sun Shines From You, and the perfect closer, If I Never See You Again. And of course, I Need Direction, the first single. Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba Baaaa!
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