TV21

Forever 22

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This first TV21 album in 28 years is surprisingly superb. Edinburgh, Scotland's 1979-1982 post-punk popsters left behind a string of brilliant singles (high point: "Something’s Wrong") and 1981's excellent A Thin Red Line. They shared bills with Undertones, Moondogs, the Jam, and the Skids, and their music was a fulfilling fusion of all four. (Strangely, they also supported the Tattoo You Rolling Stones.) Minus ex-Rezillos Ali Patterson, the three others returned with a new drummer in 2006, brought an Edinburgh house down, decided to stick around, and amazingly. made an album as strong-willed, proud, bold, and big as they had in their halcyon days. They remain a classic guitar band; Norman Rodger and Ally Palmer channel the Skids' Stuart Adamson's majestic chordage like Boy-era the Edge did. It's such a powerful throwback to a fecund era, you'd think these 11 tunes were vintage classics -- a notion enhanced by eight bonus track re-recordings of bygone songs (none improved, none ruined), since their old records are long gone. Great return.

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