A Brief History of Amazing Letdowns is a brief mini-album of amazing songs. If Kurt Heasley's Lilys didn't have so many other stellar releases, this six-song album would be a crowning achievement. The first five tracks are stunning examples of pop perfection. The shoegazer feedback of the My Bloody Valentine-inspired In the Presence of Nothing has been pushed to the background; in the fore are crashing cymbals, pounding drums, fuzzy guitars, and sweet, gentle melodies. "Ginger" sets things on the right course, as Heasley harmonizes about keeping a lover's nose warm and uses lawn darts as a romantic metaphor amid raging, euphoric guitars and powerful, psychedelic musical flourishes. "Ycjcyaqfrj" slows things down a bit, but it's still an epic little arrangement, dreamy yet full of great dynamics. "Any Place I've Lived" is a masterpiece of "hey, hey" vocals and weepy, punchy chord progressions. "Jenny, Andrew & Me" and "Dandy" are equally superb, the former a noisy, messy treat, the latter a glorious ode fitted with endearing time-shifts. These first five tracks make for one of the finest song arcs about relationships and friendships one could find in the 1990s. Though "Evel Knievel" is a throwaway, it's easy to simply stop one's music-playing device before it starts up. A Brief History of Amazing Letdowns is an essential release for fans of the Lilys and indie fans in general. If music could define words, the first five songs here would be a pop/rock definition for the word beautiful.
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AllMusic Review by Tim DiGravina