By developing a flair for tight, melodic hooks on Star, Tanya Donelly unexpectedly achieved the crossover success with Belly that eluded her with the Throwing Muses and the Breeders. Evidently inspired by such success and eager to prove that Belly was a full-fledged band, not just a solo project, Donelly and company made a bid for stardom with their second album, King. Veteran producer Glyn Johns gives the band an appealingly punchy sheen, and with the assistance of Tom Gorman and new bassist Gail Greenwood, Donelly cuts away her remaining arty preciousness, concentrating solely on big pop songs. While some fans will miss the occasional detour into spacy dream pop, Belly's makeover is quite convincing, and the cloaked stardom of "Super-Connected," the quirky hooks of "Now They'll Sleep," and the epic ballad "Judas My Heart" are neglected gems of post-alternative modern rock. Ironically, such shiny hooks didn't make Belly stars -- it lost them their original fan base, and by the time the record was released in 1995, modern rock radio was concentrating solely on harder guitar rock, so King was overlooked and the band broke up shortly afterward. The album and the group deserved a better fate.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine