There are moments on Wednesday Week's debut album, What We Had, when you can't shake the feeling that they were to the Bangles what John Cafferty was to Bruce Springsteen. However, while Kristi Callan's songs may have followed the same pop influences as the Bangles and the band's jangly guitars revealed a similar enthusiasm for classic folk-rock and power pop, What We Had captures the sort of energy and spunk that their counterparts lost after All Over the Place. Don Dixon's punchy but muscular production gives Wednesday Week an admirably full and energetic sound on these sessions, and the band is tight without seeming mechanical; David Nolte's lead guitar carries the melodies while keeping the horizons clean and clear, and drummer Kelly Callan and bassist Heidi Rodewald are a solid rhythm section who hold down the beat and bolster the tunes with smarts and efficiency. The group's attempts to reach for big themes on songs like "Suicide" and "Missionary" don't quite hit the mark, but the melodies invariably carry the day and the group certainly knows how to make the most of them. What We Had is very much a product of its time -- the production and songcraft announces this as a product of the mid-'80s even if you didn't know the release date -- but if Wednesday Week weren't the most original band on the block, they captured more of what was good about the era than what was bad, and all these years later these songs are at least as enjoyable (if not more so) as that copy of Different Light you haven't played in years.
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AllMusic Review by Mark Deming