Outrageous Cherry

Meet You in the Shadows

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Arriving just over a year after lead guitarist Larry Ray's death in 2017, Meet You in the Shadows harks back to Outrageous Cherry's early days and reflects where they are more than 20 years later. Matthew Smith's stripped-down production lends a ghostly feel to the album's expertly crafted fuzz-pop, even though the stomping floor tom and snare beat that drives "Meet You in the Shadows" feels just as insistent as it did when it propelled the band's debut single, "Pale Frail Lovely One," a quarter-century earlier. And, like 2014's Digital Age, this is a concise, consistent set of songs united around a loose theme. In Outrageous Cherry's world, the shadows are a place to hide -- which the band does in groovy fashion on "Creeps Retreat" and the serenely disoriented "Sleepwalking" -- but they're also a place to connect. On the wonderful love song for misfits, "Complicate Me," Smith's bittersweet observation that "your gaze took half a century to reach me" is heightened by Ray's flowing solo. Meet You in the Shadows provides plenty of other reminders that Ray's leads were just as just as eloquent as Smith's voice and words, whether it's his wild flights of fancy on "Lies Feel Good" or the way he closes the album by sending it into the stratosphere on "Gotta Get Back Inside Your Mind." From start to finish, the album radiates the joy and warmth that always defined Outrageous Cherry's music, and when Smith sings "the real thing can't be destroyed" on "The Last Nice Guy in Detroit," it reaffirms that Meet You in the Shadows is a fine last hurrah from a one-of-a-kind band.

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