George Starostin's Reviews



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Keith Turausky <> (09.05.2003)

I was originally going to review the Posies for Prindle's site, but then he closed off the reader reviews. So, George, let me say how nice it is to see the Posies end up one of the handful of "modern" bands on your page.

I wouldn't say Dear 23 is all you need to hear from the Posies, but it's an achievement they never really came close to equaling. The subsequent Frosting on the Beater LP has plenty of good moments, and certainly puts the 60s-pop thing far behind, but it just isn't as coherent as an album, and the high points are rarely as transcendant. From there, you get Amazing Disgrace, which brings back a bit of the old poppiness but feels scattered in the songwriting department. And then they wrapped it up (temporarily, at least) with Success, which was mostly comprised of rerecorded B-sides from years past (as good as that sounds...). There *are* great moments on all three albums, and very few redundancies. But no matter how hard they tried, the Posies could never escape the monolithic, paisley-shaped shadow of Dear 23---the biggest cheers at Posies shows ALWAYS come for those songs.

Except when they're for the Failure songs. Originally a homemade demo, Failure was rereleased by PopLlama and instantly made the Posies Seattle-area celebrities. It's no Dear 23---the production standards alone would have prevented that---but it does set the Sixties tone, and is probably responsible for the endless Hollies comparisons the Posies received in their early days. The Posies were a two-man band at that point, and both were only in their late teens. (and were barely 20 on recording Dear 23). I wouldn't exactly say the songwriting on Failure is "mature"---the sensitive sentiments expressed throughout probably cause the guys to cringe nowadays---but musically, at least, it is surprisingly complex AND poppy for anybody, much less teenagers.

In sum, George, if you liked what you heard on Dear 23, I suggest you move on to Failure next. The rest of the catalog... well, just be ready to maybe not like it quite as much.

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