Superchunk

Here's to Shutting Up

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Based on the first few musical moments on the opening cut, "Late Century Dream," the verdict is in: Superchunk has matured into an intelligent pop/rock band with commercial potential. Though indie purists may scoff at this revelation, Here's to Shutting Up is an enjoyable and refreshing collection that owes as much to the classic sounds of Brian Wilson or early-'70s David Bowie as it does to the punk ethic that established this band as an important alternative to the mainstream in the early '90s. Bursting out of the gate with "Rainy Streets" and the traditional country-tinged "Phone Sex," Superchunk flexes its melodic muscle with an array of textures, balancing a pedal steel with keyboards, acoustic/electric guitars, ambient noises, and strings. Producer Brian Paulson continues in the vein of the band's previous release, Come Pick Me Up, whipping up arrangements that serve the songs with clarity and precision playing. For those who need to rock there is "Art Class (Song for Yayoi Kusama)," and for those who need to reflect there is "The Animal Has Left Its Shell."

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