The Primitives

Bloom! The Full Story 1985-1992

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The heyday of the Primitives didn't last very long, but the foursome released some of the brightest, shiniest guitar pop to hit the airwaves in the mid- to late '80s. Their singles and albums have been repackaged and reissued many times since their demise in the early '90s; Bloom! is the first time all their albums, singles, BBC sessions, and rarities have been brought together in one place. The band's three studio albums (1988's Lovely, 1989's Pure, and 1992's Galore) are here with their respective bonus tracks; the early singles and EPs released on Lazy Records take up a full disc; and another is split between their late-'80s BBC sessions and an early-'90s live show. There are a few previously unreleased tracks making their debut here: two remixed versions of their 1989 single "Secrets," an alternate mix of the 1992 single "You Are the Way," and a snippet of backwards music titled "Flow." These few nuggets from the vault aren't enough to make the set worthwhile for anyone who's seriously strapped for cash and has the Primitives' previous reissues. Still, if one has the funds and a CD player, it's fun to hear the progression from the group's noisy, rambunctious beginnings to their glossy pop mid-period, and then their surprisingly strong swan song on Galore. One benefit of the band burning out so fast is that the quality of the music never dipped, they never lost their golden touch for cranking out super-hooky singles, and even though they fell out of step with the times, their music sounds as fresh as it did at the time. Bloom! serves as a strong reminder that the sound of noisy guitars, bright vocals, and extremely hooky melodies never gets old, especially when it's done with the high levels of skill and class that the Primitives always displayed.

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