The Young Fresh Fellows

Totally Lost

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Well, at least partially lost. Recorded at a time of much band turmoil (founding guitarist Chuck Carroll had left, though he plays on most of the album, and replacement Kurt Bloch had not quite fully integrated himself into the band yet, plus this was their first official release for Frontier Records after the L.A.-based label had reissued 1987's The Men Who Loved Music), Totally Lost is the sound of a band who isn't quite sure which of several directions they could travel. Most notably, the silliness of previous albums is almost totally absent; even drolly titled tunes like "I'd Say That You Were Upset" and "The Universal Trendsetter" have a more mature tone to them than before. In keeping with this newfound seriousness, the manic, almost-punky edge of earlier albums is missing, and some songs have hints of the more rootsy feel leader Scott McCaughey would soon take both in the late-period Young Fresh Fellows and his later project, the Minus 5. A transitional album, Totally Lost is the Fellows' weakest effort since their scattershot debut, but the increased sophistication both in McCaughey's songs and the band's tighter-than-ever playing makes it worthwhile.

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