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Reading, Writing & Arithmetic

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Album Review

The Sundays' debut album builds on the layered, ringing guitar hooks and unconventional pop melodies of the Smiths, adding more ethereal vocals and a stronger backbeat. As evidenced by the lilting, melancholy single "Here's Where the Story Ends," it's a winning combination, making Reading, Writing and Arithmetic a thoroughly engaging debut.

Customer Reviews

Sunday Afternoon Fix

If you could create a recording that would sonically represent a year, "Reading, Writing, & Arithmetic" would fit the bill for 1990, restless yet empowered in a soft-spoken tone of voice, weary from the after-effects of the "me" generation. While many argued over the Vanilla Ice vs. M.C. Hammer rivalry, your cool friend from college was listening to this album while churning out term papers. In a pre-alternative world... The Sundays opened the gate for the likes of The Innocence Mission & Mazzy Star. "Here's Where the Story Ends" is that bittersweet catchy song that you instantly remember-why-you-loved-it-so-much when a DJ is wise enough to throw it into rotation. "Can't Be Sure," "Joy" and "The Finest Hour" stand out as should have been hits. The rest of the album isn't perfect, but perfect in its imperfections. Harriet sings about childhood memories of kicking a boy with such charm, it's like getting hit repeatedly with soft and fuzzy nerf balls. It doesn't hurt, but after a while you take notice. Other songs drift and float by, but linger in their restlessness so well, you can almost envision Neko Case smiling in her headphones. By the time you finish your first listen, your ear will be thirsty for more. Lucky for us they followed up with 1992's sister-CD "Blind," which nicely bookends this recording. As for "Reading" (which is actually a pun on the origins of the band... Reading, England) this ranks as one of the best albums of 1990, if not the entire decade.

Very Outstanding

I'm only 14 yrs old and I'm so mad I wasn't born to listen to this amazing band. From her voice to the band playing their instruments It's truly an amazing album from an amazing band. Especially the song "Here's Where the Story Ends" I really wished they'd come back 5 stars well deserved.

A Quietly Powerful Voice

The Sundays was always a band that you carried with you through the day. Catchy melodies and an unforgettable voice, Harriet and David created pure gold during their brief (3 albums was NOT long enough) career. Last heard from they were raising their children content to stay away from the spotlight. I wish them both well. Can you imagine having Harriet Wheeler singing you to sleep?

Biography

Formed: 1987 in Bristol, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Building on the jangly guitar pop of the Smiths and the trance-like dream pop of bands like the Cocteau Twins, the Sundays cultivated a dedicated following in indie rock circles, both in their native England and in America, in the early '90s. Although the sales of their first two albums were strong, the band never crossed over into the mainstream, as so many observers and critics predicted they would. The Sundays formed in the summer of 1987 in London, England. Originally, the group consisted of...
Full Bio