St. Christopher

Forevermore Starts Here: Anthology 1984-2010

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Though many, if not most, indie pop fans know St. Christopher best for their two-year stretch between 1989 and 1991 recording for Sarah Records, which produced three great singles and the excellent Bacharach 10" EP, St. Christopher were responsible for much more wonderfully dramatic music both before and after that. Cherry Red's 2014 collection Forevermore Starts Here takes on the challenge of painting the complete picture of the band's career and does a fine job. The songs were chosen and sequenced by the band's main songwriter and vocalist Glenn Melia, and instead of taking a chronological approach that would have started with their first single from 1984 and ended with tracks from 2010, he pieces the story together more organically in a way that ends up sounding like a really long album instead of a series of unrelated songs. It's easy to accomplish because no matter the level of fidelity or the recording technology, one thing remains constant throughout: Melia's emotionally combustible songwriting and his almost painfully expressive vocals. That's true whether it's a rollicking compilation track from 1988 ("If I Could Capture" from the Airspace II collection), an over-driven rocker from their 2001 album Golden Blue ("Low"), or what stands out as their shining moment, the indie pop classic "Say Yes to Everything" from 1991. Listening to the collection from start to finish is to realize just how good a songwriter Melia is, easily on par with guys like Paul Heaton or Frank Reader from Trashcan Sinatras. It's a shame more people didn't see it at the time, and hopefully this collection will go some way to rectifying that injustice. Even if it doesn't, at least it will provide indie pop lovers a one-stop option for enjoying the work of a truly under-rated band.

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