Velvet Crush

Heavy Changes

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    6
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Sadly forgoing the lush pop classicism which distingished the preceding Teenage Symphonies to God, the aptly titled Heavy Changes is a looser, grittier effort closer in spirit to the early-'70s sound of bands like Badfinger and Big Star; despite the return of producer Mitch Easter, it lacks the effervescence and majesty of Velvet Crush's earlier work, aspiring instead for a noisy rock sound which often overwhelms the group's impeccable melodies and superb harmonies. The banal, lumbering riffs of cuts like "Fear of Flying" -- as well as the guitar solos which dominate seemingly every track -- are jarring and most unwelcome, 180 degrees removed from the shimmering pop aesthetic which is Velvet Crush's true strength; there's much of value here, but it's hard to shake the sense that Heavy Changes is ultimately something of a wasted opportunity, an attempt to fix something that wasn't broken in the first place.

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