Review Summary: Shame on you if you thought Weezer was the only truly great 90's power pop band.
Wow. I never thought a band like this would be so criminally underrated. It's like people intentionally ignored this truly seminal power pop album (that influenced practically no one) released back in 93'. Sure, “Dream All Day” reached the top 10 of the Modern Rock Charts back in the day, but that was most of all the credit this band ever got in the United States. It's a shame that the Posies had been long forgotten by their 1996 album release. Despite the consistent focus and sheer songwriting craftsmanship present here, people treated them as a flash-in-the-pan 'oh yeah they had that one single' band. But band founders Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow really went all out on this album. It is a bold, straightforward album that takes no shortcuts in its presentation and holds no bars. Had the public treated this album seriously, they might have been as big as Weezer was the next year.
You can practically hear songwriters Auer and Stringfellow melding influences like Cheap Trick and the Beatles with messy noisier sounding bands from the current era. It may not be truly distinctive in its approach, but it is nearly flawless. Noise and melody co-exist as one on this album, with obvious exceptions being the acoustic-sounding songs. It is never menacing but rather just breathes warmness in its sonic texture. The noisiest track by far is “Lights Out”, but even its noisy breakdowns are strangely melodic.
Auer and Stringfellow know what they're doing on this album. They take their influences and blend them in a way that, while I would hardly call it original, I might dare to call it slightly unique. You know these guys write differently from most other alternative bands that tried to sell out with a too-heavily influenced Nevermind ripoff. I would hardly call these songs overly sentimental or coy. There is just enough passion in these recordings that the emotions contained in these songs seem genuine, not looking to score top Billboard singles. The drummer, bassist, and guitarist(s) all have great chops and show it throughout this album, drummer Mike Musburger standing out particularly sometimes, though not often.
Trust me, you will get chills on this album if you really dig this kind of genre. Whether it's listening to the extended jam breakdown on “Burn and Shine”, with exceptional drumming and guitar playing, to the overwhelming harmonic prowess of Auer and Stringfellow like on starting track “Solar Sister” or closing track “Coming Right Along”. There are nearly no holes in their songwriting that scream of poor execution. They just intuitively know when to harmonize and guitar solo and everything involved with making this album sound the way it does. There is sincerity behind nearly every note in most songs in this album.
Perhaps the only complaint I have is one of the acoustic-sounding tracks suffers in comparison. And by suffer I mean very slightly dips in quality. “Love Letter Boxes”, while a very good track in its own right, pales a bit in comparison to the track “Earlier than Expected”, which does everything a softer song should do. It just screams harmonies and slow jams at a pace that keeps things a bit more interesting. Despite its attempts to sound amazing, the melody in “Love Letter Boxes” never progresses far enough in compelling note or rhythmical structure to be among the best on this album.
The Blue Album and Pinkerton are far from being the only good albums in the Power Pop genre in the 90s era. Give this one a chance if you wonder what it would sound like if the Beatles (White Album era) and Soundgarden had recorded an album together (a bit of stretch, maybe, but Soundgarden is really sonically heavy).