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Joy (1967-1990)

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Album Review

Kurt Ralske claimed that the title of Ultra Vivid Scene's second album was meant to be the inscription on a 23-year-old woman's tombstone. While Ralske's lyrics still make Trent Reznor sound like Joris-Karl Huysmans (the S&M-tinged "Praise the Low" is a particular eyeball-roller, though the way the arrangement manages to sound both Celtic and new agey while not sounding the least like Enya is impressive), Joy 1967-1990 is a much more varied and even more pop-oriented album than 1988's Ultra Vivid Scene. Hugh Jones' ultra-glossy production, rather surprisingly, actually suits the narcotic haze of Ralske's songs quite nicely and has the added benefit of leaving Ralske's musings well behind the album's real selling points, the gossamer web of acoustic and electronic instruments and Ralske's knack for melodies that simultaneously sound exceptionally catchy and just a little off. Mention must be made, however, of the fact that "Special One" (which features vocals by Kim Deal) sounds so much like Big Star's "September Gurls" that Alex Chilton could sue for royalties.

Customer Reviews

Ultra Vivid Scene

Wow this takes me back. I had hoped to get this on cd or electronic for years as my vynl skips and jumps all the way through. I love this album and it reminds me of being young and not having to work when summer's where long sunny days and I was first trying to work out how to play guitar myself. It has not dated too badly to my mind and is a great piece of indie rock and certainly deserves to sit in the same critically important space as the Pixies first two albums and MBV or the Mary Chain. If you love intelligent indie pop/rock with an edge and even remotely like any of the bands like Snow Patrol et al you should really own this...

Kurt Ralske is Amazing

This Album was a rock in my life for many years... I can not rate it highly enough... if you do not have it you are missing out on something utterly dive and moving... why wait?

Great album....but why only partial

This is a great album that really typifies the time for me when it was originally released. But why iTunes do you have to show some albums as partial and force people to buy each song seperately!


Formed: 1986 in New York City, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Ultra Vivid Scene is Kurt Ralske like Nine Inch Nails is Trent Reznor. Although Ralske's atmospheric art pop could not sound less like Reznor's thudding industrial disco, the two are not that far apart in terms of aesthetics; Ralske's lyrical obsessions with such gothy standbys as sex, religion, and death make the band's three albums naturals for the mopey black-clad teenager in us all. Ralske was born and raised in New York; something of a musical prodigy, he was accepted into the Berklee School...
Full bio
Joy (1967-1990), Ultra Vivid Scene
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Customer Ratings


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