Audio CD | Extra Tracks
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|Audio CD, Extra tracks, March 30, 2010||
Vinyl, Original recording remastered, June 2, 2009
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2010 2 CD, reissue of this landmark album, originally released in 1988. When Galaxie 500's Today was released, it set off a chain reaction of quiet explosions still being felt. Never before had a record so emphasized the calming elements of Rock music, transforming what at first seems like a collection of bridges into fully realized songs. And one can draw a straight line from here to the many groups they influenced, like Low, Belle & Sebastian, and Bon Iver. Today is full of idiosyncrasies.
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Top customer reviews
The Rykodisc boxed set convinced me that the clerk was correct. "On Fire" is stronger than "TIOM," and "Today" beats album number two. Unlike Dean Wareham's work with Luna, which with the Feelies' drummer and the Chills' bassist, edged towards more indie-pop, the earlier band tended to me more to the Velvet Underground, in mood more than sound. The song "Tugboat" may tip their hand: I read it as alluding to Stew Morrison's decision to work on that craft rather than continue with music after the VU.
You have to be in the right frame of mind for this record to work. Wareham's warbly voice can be as trebly as his guitar. Naomi Yang's bass (who needed more vocal appearances; look to her work with partner-drummer Damon Krukowski after Wareham ditched the pair for his solo career, as the liner notes in the Rykodisc box set sadly document by Damon & Naomi) backs up the guitar and percussion nimbly. Sort of like Kim Deal in the Pixies, she got upstaged instrumentally and vocally by the lead singer.
This album-- just before the CD took over-- fits into a now distant period, even if only two decades ago, when one could learn by a magazine, hear by word of mouth, or tune into a college station to find out about an intriguing band from across the country. There's a warmth to the production by Kramer to match the chilly emotions. The trio's love of simple structures that build up and then unravel in three minutes sinks in, after many playings. It fits a winter's morning or a summer's night.
When I first read about Galaxie 500, I could tell they were a musical missing link for me- creating a bridge between standard indie-pop fair and beautifully woven pyschedelia, all the while remaining simply and truly romantic. This is a make-out album, from the utterance of "I could be there when you're sleeping, I could be there in your dreams" on the opening number to the song "Tugboat", which relies on a scant few lyrics to cultminate in what may be the best love song
never to make it to radio.
While Naomi's solid bass work provides a backbone for the album, the lead guitar evokes memories of the acid rock of the 60's and 70's with seering, sparkling riffs. Not that the pop of those decades has been forgotten either; Galaxie 500 can go from brooding to bubble gum so subtly you never notice until the music has built to a roar as warm and dense as it is undeniable.
Think of this as proof that just a little soul survived the ravages of the Me Decade.
By the end of the CD I had to get up and ask who the h3ll is this band? I was hooked. This is 2001 and when I hear this album I can't really peg it to any particular year. Seems much more like an album that will stand the test of time. The lyrics are unique and the singer's voice is mesmerizing. Lofty guitar rifs are sprinkled throughout giving a sureal, ethereal kind of feel.
I don't know how I missed this band and feel stupid for doing so. Nonetheless, surprises are good. Buy this and surprise yourself that beyond the spoon fed MTV songs, there lie true gems, not the plastic kind.
I suggest checking out Luna as well.
Most recent customer reviews
I saw G500 for the first time at the Rat in Boston opening for the Pixies. Not many G500 fans in that crowd.Read more