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This Is Our Music (Deluxe Edition)

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Album Review

What turned out to be the final Galaxie 500 album was also arguably the band's most accomplished. Not that the earlier records lacked either charm or ability, but right from the charging, chugging start of "Fourth of July," the amazing single and leadoff song from This Is Our Music (even including a cheeky Velvet Underground reference from "Candy Says"), the trio here sounds like they could take on anyone. Kramer's production and the use of reverb from past releases all once again contribute to Galaxie 500's magic, while the individual members continue to sound fantastic. Somehow, though, everyone aims higher, Wareham's singing among his finest and his guitar going for the truly epic more than once, Krukowski and Yang even more perfectly in sync than before, often being very bold without losing their intrinsic warmth. From a generally different approach, Galaxie 500 here easily equaled the heights of their U.K. shoegaze contemporaries and often trumped them — "Summertime" in particular is a stunner — while making a lot of contemporary American indie rock seem fairly dull and workaday. The choice of cover version this time out is astonishing — Yoko Ono's "Listen, the Snow Is Falling," with Yang singing beautifully over, initially, Wareham's echoed guitar strums, and Krukowski's barely-there percussion cascade. The switch to a full-band arrangement, far from destroying the song's spell, makes it even more intense and gripping a listen. The subtle touches throughout the album add immeasurably to its magic — the soft ringing bells shimmering through "Hearing Voices," quiet synth on "Spook," and Kramer's self-described "cheap flute" on "Way up High." It all concludes with "King of Spain, Part Two," a reworking of the flip side to "Tugboat" — while it wasn't a planned finale, as an unexpectedly right bookend to a career, it ends both Galaxie 500 and This Is Our Music on a perfect note. Later CD versions include a cover of the Velvet Underground's "Here She Comes Now," originally the B-side from "Fourth of July."

Biography

Formed: 1986 in Boston, MA

Genre: Alternative

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

Though criminally overlooked in their own lifetime, Galaxie 500 later emerged as one of the pivotal underground groups of the post-punk era; dreamy and enigmatic, their minimalist dirges presaged the rise of both the shoegaze and slowcore movements of the 1990s. The group formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1986 and comprised vocalist/guitarist Dean Wareham (a transplanted New Zealand native), and bassist Naomi Yang and drummer Damon Krukowski, longtime friends who first met in high school in New...
Full bio
This Is Our Music (Deluxe Edition), Galaxie 500
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