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Album Review

The Lucy Show's second full-length album caught the group in a time of personnel crises. At this juncture, the band had dwindled to a duo, Rob Vandeven and Mark Bandola, with assistance from various sidemen. Despite the membership instability here, this album is a solid improvement over previous releases. The influence of R.E.M. and the Cure is extremely strong; all the songs here show clear touches of one or both of these bands. A few selections, such as "Sun and Moon" and "Melody," also utilize subtle 1960s melodic twists and turns. Unusual, slip-sliding chord progressions occur often ("View From the Outside" is a good example), lending these songs added depth and appeal. "New Message" features a solid, chunky drumbeat and an especially ringing arrangement that is accentuated by use of crisscrossed high trumpet lines. "Sojourn's End" has noticeable psychedelic touches and adds a smidgen of harmonica to the mix. "Sad September" is a moody and lovely acoustic guitar-dominated number with a hauntingly effective vocal. And the synthesizer-based "Part of Me Now" is simultaneously pulsating and expressive, one of the album's best songs. This overlooked release deserves wider exposure and is well worth hearing.

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Mania, The Lucy Show
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