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Wake Up!

The Boo Radleys

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Album Review

With their third album, the Boo Radleys abandoned the overt noise that obscured the pop sensibilities of their early work and scaled back the ambitions of Giant Steps. The result is Wake Up!, a glorious, brightly colored gem of a pop record. From the Beach Boy harmonies and trumpet fanfares of the opening "Wake Up Boo!" to the closing epic, McCartney-styled ballad "Wilder," the group winds through many styles of British pop. Much of the darkness — both musically and lyrically — of their previous music has been lifted; in its place is a sterling piece of pure pop, with all the big choruses, bright melodies, and simple hooks that word implies. Giant Steps had elements of this grand pop, yet it tried too hard. Wake Up! doesn't try for as much, and in doing so, it achieves more, both musically and commercially — upon the release of the album and the "Wake Up Boo!" single, the Boos became genuine Top Ten pop stars in England. The Boo Radleys were always a band with ambitions. The only difference with Wake Up! is that they finally fulfilled them.

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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