From the Bench at Belvidere

The Boo Radleys

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From the Bench at Belvidere Review

by Jack Rabid

From the Bench at Belvidere is, like Wake Up!, recommended since it's four brand-new tracks recorded long after the LP. If not quite the caliber of their old Rough Trade/Creation four-songers, it still returns the Boos to their former non-LP prowess that they cheated us out of the previous three years, since the Lazarus EP. The A-side is a nice change; one could imagine Smokey Robinson crooning this lovely falsetto-soul chorus of romantic sadness, "Who stops the lonely/Of thinking of the times when you were the only?" It's simply put and, delivered in Sice's rueful regret, makes the pain and depression of old ghosts seem eternal, on that bench at Belvidere where he sits and remembers. Excellent, direct track, away from their weirder side. "Almost Nearly There" is also primo, Sice intoning repeatedly, "This is how it's meant to be," as if the helplessness of existence has finally caught up with him. More pretty stuff. "Hi Falutin" is another one of their dance experiments as per "Joel" or "Rodney King (Song for Lenny Bruce)," only not as good, and "Crushed" doesn't add up to much, but the point was made with the other two tracks anyway.

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