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Album Review

The Katydids are another recent English development, and manage, without trying too hard, to be a mixture of a '60s songbird band, heavy on the not-quite-finished pop-type numbers about love and life, and the Pretenders. The latter is suggested initially by the fact that vocalist Susie Hug is an expatriate American. The Katydids lean less on the jagged rhythms favored at one time by the Pretenders, however, and more on the hook-laden acoustic-driven folk-pop of the other influences (sounding at times remarkably like the Bangles). Hug's voice isn't the greatest going — her range is limited, and her pleasure in singing, along with nicely tuned harmonies, seems to be the thing that props her up — but in the context of the songs, it's very much a case of good enough. Producer Nick Lowe knows how to turn this sort of stuff out without batting an eyelash, and he's done the band proud, balancing everything nicely and giving them a very natural, friendly, sound (complete with a few rough edges here and there from the famed Nick Lowe "fix it in the mix" technique of doing as much as possible in one take). The biggest problem with the album, really, is that it's something of a rehash — it's been heard before — and the vagueness of the Iyrics is often detrimental, especially when the songs are character songs like "Dr. Rey" or "Miss Misery," both of which start to tell stories and go nowhere. On the other hand, there are songs like "Lights Out (Read My Lips)," which manages to both play coy and be sexy. "Growing Old," too, manages to be very affecting because of its combination of simple folkiness and a lyric that's half in Japanese. This debut from the Katydids, then, is far from perfect, but promising and delightful to listen to.

Customer Reviews


Hey- am I the only person that listened to this in college? I thought it was great at the time and after re-listening to Lights Out and Heavy Weather Traffic I think that it really did deserve at least a little bit of appreciation! Maybe it's just because Nick Lowe has the magic touch, but I absolutely loved it - still do. There's something there!

katydids available online at last!

i have been looking out for this for ages,what a great record and nick lowe does a fine job at the controls, pure pop for people now!

Katydids, Katydids
View In iTunes
  • $7.89
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Pop, Pop/Rock, Adult Alternative
  • Released: 1989

Customer Ratings