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Album Review

Despite lacking two songs included on its Japanese counterpart, the Canadian version of Topolino is the better one, thanks to a lengthier track listing and a couple minor highlights not found on the other. Like its sister, this version is mainly for completists. With rare occasion, the material isn't on a par with Lovelife, which is expected with all extras collections. It's no Hatful of Hollow, but what is? It shares seven of the same songs with the other Topolino, including the brilliant "Ex," the sunny and chirpy "I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend," and the Stephin Merritt cover "I Have the Moon." Amongst the tracks exclusive to this version are an outstanding cover of Zounds' "Demystification," retaining all the defiant spirit of the original while building on its singalong catchiness. Otherwise, Emma Anderson's somber acoustic tunes "Shut Up" and "Outside World" along with the pleasant lounge jazz of "Cul de Sac" and equally lighthearted "Tinkerbell" set this apart from the Japanese version. One major grumble is that similar compilations didn't crop up after the releases of Spooky and Split. The B-sides from the singles off those records, while not quite as vast in material, would have been equally beneficial for the fans, if not more so. In terms of quality, they arguably would have been better. But such compilations didn't come into fruition at the time because Lovelife brought Lush more popularity outside its native Britain, thus upping the demand for a collection like Topolino. The band's morph into more straight-ahead pop appealed to more ears, while thankfully not representing a pandering to the existing Brit-pop scene (since Lush had been there long before it started). Lush only increased its focus on the songs more than the sounds; burying the vocals and adding layers of distortion would cause this material to sound just like the band's earlier material. Perhaps Lush's later songs weren't as unique, but the group did show a level of confidence and ability to not get set in its ways. More importantly, there's nothing wrong with well-done, three-minute pop songs.


Formed: October, 1988 in London, England

Genre: Alternative

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

Meshing dreamy, effects-drenched guitars with airy, catchy melodies, Lush were one of the most prominent shoegaze/dream pop bands of the early '90s. Led by guitarists Miki Berenyi and Emma Anderson, the British band gained a cult following within the British and American undergrounds with its first EPs, yet the group never quite attained the critical respect given to its peers My Bloody Valentine and Ride. Even so, Lush lasted longer than any other of their contemporaries (with the exception of the...
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