Like R.E.M., Wilco, the Replacements, and the Posies, Seattle's Hello From Waveland owes an enormous debt to Big Star. But the members of Hello From Waveland play power pop so well, adding a touch of Todd Rundgren and the drive of rock & roll to finely crafted jangle pop, that they can't be faulted for having good influences. Strangeways, the band's debut, ranges from deeply bittersweet piano tunes like "Overnight Sensation" -- a cross between R.E.M.'s "Nightswimming" and Wilco's Americana -- to psychedelic country on "Deepest Lake," groovy '70s pop on "Strange," and the relentlessly uplifting vibe of "Big Beautiful House." Likely one of the most overlooked albums of 2002, Hello From Waveland's Strangeways is a brilliant rock record that could long outlive the appeal the year's garage rock revivalists.
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AllMusic Review by Charles Spano