Tanya Donelly's artistic sensibilities were at the very core of Belly, which is why it was a bit of a surprise when she suddenly disbanded the group after its second album flopped. Upon listening to her 1997 debut, Lovesongs for Underdogs, it becomes clear that Belly wasn't suited for these songs. Lovesongs for Underdogs is a pretty, pleasant collection of pop-folk songs; Belly would have overwhelmed these songs, delivering them with too much backbeat. Instead of giving these simple songs clean, clear arrangements, though, Donelly polished everything on the album to a shine, and in the process, she sapped the soul of much of the record. Everything on Lovesongs for Underdogs tends to blend together, and while there are some nice moments scattered throughout the record, nothing makes itself known. As a solo debut, it's a little tentative, but there are enough good points to suggest that Donelly's second solo album will be a winner.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine