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Album Review

On Surrounded, Phillipps digs his lyrical nails right into your romantic skin and rips the surface with the zippy, stinging "(Please Don't Say We'll Be) Friends Again," featuring his clever, bitingly bitter reaction to the bad news that makes one feel so helpless: "Last night bordered on comedy time/With you the jester and me the mime," leading to such lashing, pricked, and wounded wisdom as "But I loved you/And I lost you/So it hurts me now to just hang around with you." All over, people shudder in recognition, like Burl Ives' snowman in "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer": "Brrrrrrrrrr." After this, "Stupid Way to Go" and the odd yet fun whimsy of "Yabba Dabba Doo" — in which Barney Rubble's twin is slain in a bowling-night knife fight — are anticlimactic, but both continue the quality of the above four.

Biography

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The Chills' frontman Martin Phillipps (vocals, guitar, keyboards, percussion) has written more than 500 songs. However, in the '80s and '90s none of them managed to corral listeners in the U.S. and England except for a devout cult. Nevertheless, Phillipps is one of the world's most influential indie pop songwriters, accumulating an acclaimed body of work that stretches back to the New Zealand punk scene of the late '70s. Born in Dunedin, New Zealand, Phillipps discovered punk rock in 1978 at the...
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Surrounded - EP, Martin Phillipps
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