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Everything's Alright Forever

The Boo Radleys

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Album Review

Happily settled on Creation Records — their understandable spiritual home, given the My Bloody Valentine connection - on their second album, the Boos create a fine but limited ode to the icons of fuzzpedals, melancholy and hooks. At the time of release, Forever seemed little more than yet another blissout-by-numbers, but looking back on it there's more here than on first blush. Still, Forever is more an anticipatory release, signaling the great leaps forward to come rather than standing on its own. Carr in particular is still clearly enthralled by Kevin Shields' groundbreaking guitar work, with queasy riffs and shadings plentiful throughout. Producer Ed Buller does a solid job in tweaking the then-standard Boo sound, capturing the group's straightforward rock side and its experimental tendencies with inventive, lush arrangements. Check out "Lazy Day," a brief but effective number where Carr's nuclear-strength guitars are interrupted by sudden shifts to vocals and acoustic strumming with a rapid, breathless pace. Sice is the group's secret weapon; his sweet, choirboy vocals add gentleness and serenity to the proceedings, particularly "Does This Hurt?," the album's most memorable number. Based on a fine all-around band performance and Carr's gorgeous feedback shimmers and skyward solos, Sice's heavenly singing provides the perfect hook at the center of it all. Other high points include the opening "Spainard," with a lovely performance heightened by guest trumpet from Kick Horns member Roddy Lorimer. Forever lives up to its title well enough: everything's alright, but not yet truly astounding.

Biography

Formed: 1988 in Liverpool, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Formed in Liverpool in 1988, the English guitar pop group the Boo Radleys developed a dedicated cult following in the early '90s before crossing over into the mainstream in the middle of the decade. Originally, the Radleys were one of the lesser lights of the loud, noisy My Bloody Valentine-inspired psychedelic trance pop bands labeled "shoegazers" by the British weekly music press. By the mid-'90s the Boo Radleys had developed into a more straightforward...
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