Cleaners from Venus

Back From the Cleaners

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A follow-up to 1993's thoroughly wonderful Golden Cleaners, 1995's less-expansive collection, Back From the Cleaners, is more for hardcore fans. Golden Cleaners hadn't gathered all the group's best work, but it had certainly hit the highest points, and as a result, Back From the Cleaners feels unavoidably like leftovers. They're certainly high-quality leftovers, including small gems like the Kinks-like "Let's Get Married" and the witty skewering of intellectual pretension "The Beat Generation and Me." (Both of these songs were re-recorded for the Cleaners From Venus' final album, 1988's Town and Country, but these are the superior original cassette recordings.) Other highlights include a country-tinged collaboration with Captain Sensible called "You Must Be out of My Mind" and pianist Giles Smith's fetching "Dizzy Girl," but the album also features a couple of weaker tracks, most notably the overlong, tiresome "Cardboard Town." Still, those who haven't been able to lay hands on the Cleaners From Venus' increasingly rare cassettes and singles from the '80s will appreciate this.

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