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The Great Crossover Potential

The Sugarcubes

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Album Review

The Sugarcubes were one of the great cult bands of collegiate rock, not only because they had a distinctive sound, but because they were so damn weird. They sounded like nothing else in the late '80s/early '90s or anything that came before, creating an unusual hybrid of pop, dance, and the avant-garde. So rabid was their cult that some critics said they could cross over into the mainstream, yet that never really happened, despite their strong English following. However, that notion gives the title to their best-of collection, The Great Crossover Potential. The 14-track compilation proves that they could never really have crossed over, mainly because their pop sense is quirky and they're often an acquired taste. Björk, of course, wound up being a pop star with equally ambitious music, and while her talent is apparent here, it's often submerged by Einar's excruciatingly ridiculous showboating. Einar was often overbearing on the Sugarcubes albums (particularly toward the end of their career), and it is true that he's less irritating here than on the proper records, but casual fans should be aware that The Great Crossover Potential is only slightly less uneven than the actual albums, with the exception of the remarkable debut, Life's Too Good. The collection, however, remains a nice way to round up the highlights, particularly those from Here Today, Tomorrow Next Week! and Stick Around for Joy.

Biography

Formed: 1986 in Reykjavik, Iceland

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s

The Sugarcubes were the biggest group ever to emerge from Iceland, which helps explain their off-kilter sense of melody. Their 1988 debut, Life's Too Good, attracted terrific reviews and became a college radio...
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The Great Crossover Potential, The Sugarcubes
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