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Blood/Candy

The Posies

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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.

Biography

Formed: 1986 in Bellingham, WA

Genre: Alternative

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, WA, home...
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