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Across the Universe

Trip Shakespeare

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iTunes Editors’ Notes

This Minnesota-bred group’s brash, harmony-filled sound recalls the Turtles, Badfinger and Big Star, with a dollop of musical theater stirred in. But there’s more going on here than just sweet tunes with sharp hooks. What makes these songs truly unique is the lyric sensibility of sibling vocalists Matt and Dan Wilson — capturing ordinary life in whimsically poetic language, they exalt the commonplace into something magical. “Gone, Gone, Gone,” “Turtledove,” “Late” and “Snow Days” (the latter sung by bassist John Munson) blend wry wit with an old-fashioned romantic strain. “The Nail” finds the band crunching down on solid rock, spurred on by Munson’s molten fretless bass and Elaine Harris’ sturdy drum work. Ever-present is Trip’s cheeky sense of humor, most apparent in the comedic mini-opera “The Slacks.” When they choose, they can toss off perfectly wrought pop gems, as “Pearle” and “Unlucky Lady” show. By all rights Across the Universe should have turned Trip Shakespeare into rock stars; sadly, the album wasn’t a major success. A decade later, these quirky and luminous songs still have the power to uplift and beguile.

Customer Reviews

Hands Down - The BEST Album EVER Made!!!

I can't believe no one has written a review for this yet! This is the best album I have ever heard in my life! Brings back memories of the early 90s and my early college years. I saw them twice in Iowa City - Once at Gabe's and again at the IMU. They were awesome at both venues, but the intimacy of Gabe's edges out as the clear winner. I remember people hanging from the rafters when they played "The Slacks"! One of the best memories I have. I was always a "Hard Rocker" and never really got into folk-alternative music, but this album won me over for life! The album that followed, "Lulu" is a very very close second although it is quite a different style from AtU. Hopefully that will find it's way to iTunes as well. Dan Wilson and John Munson went on to form Semisonic whch is quite good as well, albeit a bit more mainstream. Kudo's to iTunes for finally bring this music to the masses :D

classic southern 90s

girlfriend gave me this tape. Killed it years ago and this is the first I've seen of it since. Great album.


This is a wonderful post "college radio" pop gem. Great writing. Wonderful vocal arrangements and harmonies without sacrificing the rock. Great songs. What else do you want? I always come back to this record.


Formed: 1986 in Minneapolis, MN

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Playing engaging and imaginative alternative rock with a pop twist, Trip Shakespeare were a Minneapolis-based combo who earned a loyal cult following for their playful but literate, rhythmically inventive music. The band's story began in the early 1980s, when Harvard anthropology grad Elaine Harris answered an ad looking for "wicked percussion hands" posted by English major Matt Wilson, who would soon abandon school for music to relocate to his hometown of Minneapolis. Harris and Wilson would found...
Full Bio