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Blood/Candy

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Album Review

In the new millennium, the Posies exist as something less than a full-time band and something more than a side project. Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow dedicated themselves to the band whenever other commitments — i.e., supporting Alex Chilton in Big Star whenever he needed them — faded into the background. Released in the fall of 2010, roughly six months after Chilton’s unexpected death brought an end to Big Star, Blood/Candy bears the hallmarks of a project that’s tinkered on for a while. It’s not that it’s the work of fussy obsessives, the kind who can’t bear to have a single note out of place, but rather that it was completed track by track, whenever Auer and Stringfellow had the moment to finish a cut. Some of this disparity is deliberate: the duo wanted Blood/Candy to explore some sonic avenues they’ve yet to pursue, so they brought in a few guests (Kay Hanley harmonizes on “The Glitter Prize,” Hugh Cornwell shows up on “Plastic Paperbacks”), adopt a cool, relaxed groove for “Cleopatra Street,” get gently psychedelic on “Accidental Architecture,” turn in a clever little gem on “Holiday Hours,” generally dialing down the guitars to the level they were around the time of Dear 23. Around these slight departures are rushes of power pop that are recognizably the Posies — bold guitars and hooks sweetened by their harmonies — but the overall tone is different enough to make Blood/Candy feel like something more than another solid Posies album…albeit only slightly more.

Customer Reviews

Not a band anymore

First off let me say, I love The Posies. They released one of the all time great albums of the 1990s in Frosting on the Beater and Amazing Disgrace and Success were also brilliant. Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer are fantastic songwriters with solo work that outshines most singer/songwriters. My problem with their past couple of albums since they reformed is, as the iTunes review says, they sound like a side project. It's like you could put Jon's song on one side of the record and Ken's on the other. While "The Glitter Prize" is a heart stoppingly lovely, deceptively simple Auer melody it sounds like a cut off his solo work. "For the Ashes" or "Licenses to Hide" are examples of Stringfellow's more recent piano driven, flamboyant songs. Two song writers doing their own cool thing, but it's not a band to my ears. They've even got guests harmonizing on the songs now when once upon a time it was what they used to do so beautifully together. Blood Candy is a solid album with some stand out songs in "Notion 99" and "Holiday Hours" but it just sounds too uneven to be anything but a loose collection.

Biography

Formed: 1986 in Bellingham, WA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The Posies were one of the most popular power pop bands of the '90s; along with other revivalists like Matthew Sweet and Teenage Fanclub, they helped update the classic power pop sound for the alternative age, marrying bright, British Invasion-style melodies and harmonies to loud, grungy guitars and quirky lyrics. The Posies were centered around the partnership of guitarists/vocalists/songwriters Jonathan Auer and Ken Stringfellow, who began recording songs together in Auer's Bellingham, Washington...
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