January 31, 2023

Teenage Fanclub - Howdy! (2000)

Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Power Pop
Label Number: 500622 2

© 2000 Columbia Records
For better or worse, the only thing that truly sticks out on Teenage Fanclub's sixth studio record is the title. It's the worst since Ass. However, "howdy" is a fitting way to sum up these 12 simple, humble pop songs, most of which are light-hearted and cheery. It would be easy -- and understandable to a certain degree -- if die-hard Fanclub fans felt letdown with the band flying in a stylistic holding pattern, though the influences on this one tend to point toward the hushed side of the Hollies more than the previous indebtedness to the Byrds and Big Star. Those feeling robbed should look at it this way: Just how many bands can last over a decade and continue to make completely non-cynical, non-cloying pop as well as Teenage Fanclub? Not many. There is zero flash. No blazing distortion, no extreme emotion, no showiness whatsoever. What's apparent is top-drawer craft, lovely three-part harmonies, delicately strummed guitars, and flawless arrangements. Nothing here is going to knock you off your feet, but is that such a bad thing? One of the best charms of Howdy is how you can put it on and have your mood improved without having to put much thought into it. It doesn't take many plays to get your head around it, but it's anything but disposable or throwaway. They set out to make a good pop record, and they succeeded. It's by no means a landmark, and it's not close to their best; it's just well-done. There's nothing wrong with turning it up to five every now and then, is there?

 tags: teenage fanclub, howdy, 2000, flac,


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