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Album Review

Shoes' first — and with the exception of 1995's live Fret Buzz, last — album of the '90s largely avoids the trap of overproduction that befell their post-Elektra albums of the '80s, which, in retrospect, sound terribly dated. Perhaps inspired by the new flowering of D.I.Y. bands in the early '90s, Jeff Murphy, John Murphy, and Gary Klebe open up their sound a bit more, turning up their distortion pedals and pulling back on the synths that had colored 1989's Stolen Wishes and 1984's Silhouette. Kicking off with the uncharacteristic Creedence-style choogle of Klebe's "Animal Attraction," Propeller is a little harder rocking than before, with only the winsome "Don't Do This to Me" forsaking the punchy riffs and Cheap Trick-style choruses that permeate the rest of the album. As always, songwriting duties are rigidly democratic, but, for some reason, Jeff Murphy's batch of four are the weakest of the lot, with uninspired choruses and less memorable melodies than his cohorts' efforts.

Customer Reviews

Propeller satisfies

As their 1980 Tongue Twister is by far my favorite Shoes album, I found 'Tore A Hole', 'Silence Is Deadly' and 'Bittersweet' a nice revisit to their edgier sound. Solid American pop. I wish they would release a live DVD.


Formed: 1975 in Zion, IL

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

It may not have been the hip thing to do at the time, but Shoes carried on the pure pop traditions of the Beatles and the Raspberries during the late '70s and early '80s with a charming innocence and execution unmatched...
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