It is just a little unfair that almost 25 years into their career the reunited Posies come out with their best record ever. Originally part of the great power pop scare of the late ‘80s/early ‘90s (Jellyfish, Teenage Fanclub, The La’s, et al.), the Posies seemed prime to do relatively well by the time they released Dear 23 on Geffen. However, the curse of power pop is a pretty strong one as curses go – just ask Big Star, Jellyfish, Matthew Sweet- with only a lucky few to escape this sugar-coated Beatlesque ghetto – Cheap Trick and The Raspberries come to mind- and the masses seem to want it heavier and louder or quieter and more melodic.
However, all this said, here’s the deal, Blood/Candy is truly a great LP. It has light and shade and all points in between. The band’s constants, Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow, have really honed in to deliver a terrific batch of songs that range from wonderful power to the glorious pop.
What makes this record so strong is that this band actually hits “pop” with strong writing, and the power part by being able to play and sing with authority. All the benchmarks are here; McCartney (“License to Hide”), Cheap Trick (“Plastic Paperbacks”), British Invasion style harmony arrangements (“She’s Coming Down”), and the Byrds (“Notion”). They are even able to pull off Pet Soundsreferences (“Enewetak”).
We could go on and on, but right now, we would rather be concentrating on this pretty damn close to flawless record. One of the secret strengths here is that the Posies avoid the twee boy/girl/love/moon rhymes that so many misguided folks assume is an integral part of the genre. The lyrics play a key role in the melodic ambience of all the songs.
As we spoke earlier, the shores of rock music are awash with bands that went aground on the elusive and bumpy seas of power pop. We can say to others who might be aspiring to this niche, listen to Blood/Candy and hear how it sounds when it is expertly done.