November 24, 2021

The Smithereens - Blow Up (1991)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Power Pop
Label Number: CDP 7 94963 2

© 1991 Capitol Records
Sometimes it seems like the Smithereens' entire career was mistimed. After the relative success of 11, Pat DiNizio and company returned with their most straightforward and mainstream-ready release yet in Blow Up. Produced by Ed Stasium, the mix is arena ready and clean, and DiNizio co-wrote two of the disc's most accessible songs with songwriters Diane Warren and Julian Lennon. The first single, the string-laden Philly soul of "Too Much Passion" not only cracked the Top 40, but it placed at number 38, one position higher than their previous biggest hit, "A Girl Like You." That's where the success story ends. If there was ever a time for an alternative band to opt for a slicker sound, 1991 wasn't it. Blow Up was released within a week of Nirvana's Nevermind, and that album would quickly change alternative radio formats forever, squeezing out largely pop-oriented bands like the Smithereens. Also, "Too Much Passion" was the most adult contemporary single the Smithereens ever released, which meant a good deal of their new audience came on board expecting more of the same, and found only Warren's "Get a Hold of My Heart" to be similar. Still, the Smithereens never released a bad record, and Blow Up is in fact a quite good one: Much like 11 before it, Blow Up is a collection of catchy, blue-collar power pop distinguished by DiNizio's often moody outlook.

tags: the smithereens, blow up, 1991, flac,


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