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Manilow, Pt. 1


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Album Review

Australia's Smudge created an impressive collection of songs with Manilow. Tom Morgan and company create consistently catchy pop tunes, assembling songs with simple pop hooks and clever lyrics. The disc starts off with the fuzzy title track, which is followed by the boisterous "Ingrown" and the sentimental "Impractical Joke." Morgan co-wrote "Desmond" with Nic Dalton of Godstar and the Lemonheads. "Down About It" was later covered by the Lemonheads. It, along with "Superhero," was co-written with Evan Dando of the Lemonheads. The band's punky variety of pop finally began to garner attention outside of the band's hometown of Sydney, Australia, with this disc. The band's knack for creating self-mocking songs like "Ugly, Just Like Me" garnered the band a slacker tag by media. The band won over much of their fan base with lighthearted and humorous songs like "Mr. Coffee Man," "Dave the Talking Bear," and "Not Here for a Haircut." The songs are simple, with basic guitar, bass, and drums combining with Morgan's confident vocal presence. The surprise of the disc comes at the end, with the unlisted covers of the theme song from the Charles in Charge TV show as well as the song "Kelly" from the Cheers television show. Manilow was recorded in August 1993 and was produced by Nic Dalton. Guest guitarist Simon Holmes appears on "Pulp" and "Superhero."


Formed: 1990

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s

Smudge is an Australian slacker pop trio who were thrust onto the world stage in the early '90s after recognition of singer/songwriter Tom Morgan's co-authorship of material on the Lemonheads breakthrough, 1992 It's a Shame About Ray. Since then, the group has diversified somewhat with bassist Adam Yee and drummer Alison Galloway contributing material and the occasional lead vocal performance. In 1996, they made a concerted effort to expand their sound by recording the You Me Carpark Now album in...
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Manilow, Pt. 1, Smudge
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