When Captain Soul's debut appeared in 2001, it brought to a close an unfortunate three-year full-length drought in the band's career. Still called Hooverdam, the band issued a few singles before signing a two-album deal with Alan McGee's new London-based Poptones. The bandmembers started fresh, first changing the group's name to Captain Soul before sorting through their solid repertoire to record their debut with Poptones label GM/producer Joe Foster (Television Personalities, Slaughter Joe). Upon its release, Beat Your Crazy Head Against the Sky (deriving its name from the Lovin' Spoonful's "Darling Be Home Soon") drew somewhat immediate praise from critics enthralled with their "gorgeous West Coast harmonies" and "uplifting, life-affirming melodies." The album featured a few titles that had been previously recorded in different forms, all with new arrangements and a bright new perspective. It kicks off with an anthemic pop single, "T-Shirt 69" (about a girl with "69" screen-printed on the front of her chest, which Adam Howorth says represented "an enticing but unattainable proposition"). Howorth claimed the song was his attempt to write a classic "girl-watching song, like Roy Orbison's "Pretty Woman." The rest of the album proceeds along, mined from the same vein of mid-'60s Californian gold nuggets, with ringing Rickenbackers, soft rock-style close harmonies, and more hooks than a tacklebox. "Fragile as a Butterfly" finds Captain Soul easing into a comfortable pastoral vibe, with British folk-style flute and guitar and warm Beach Boys-esque harmonies. It's been reported that the band was even approached by Bruce Johnston and Beach Boys producer Terry Melcher, who offered to record its next album gratis (working title: The Lights Grow Brighter), but the band is reportedly working with Foster again.
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AllMusic Review by Bryan Thomas