Cosmic Rough Riders

Pure Escapism

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Still reveling in this Scottish group's improbably innocent, mellifluous, untouched 'n' unspoiled debut LP, Enjoy the Melodic Sunshine? Want more of the exact same? Pure Escapism is a handy compendium of their 11 very similar B-sides and two alternative versions, making for something of a side three and four of the proper LP! OK, the last two-thirds of this is like a slightly lighter version of CRR, as on track after track they reach for the picking of acoustic guitars as an even more ringing-pop idea of their melodious tunes. But the style is otherwise unchanged on winsome little numbers such as "Camera Shy," the lovely "Universal Thing," and "Your Eyes." And in the early going, when they actually stick to the LP's ringing electrics, the results are once again marvelous: The surprisingly harsher, just as catchy, Teenage Fanclub-ish "I Got Over You" is a bigtime winner that quite frankly should have found a place on Enjoy. Likewise, "Annie" is chiming goodness, and the remix of "The Pain Inside" is totally worthwhile (cleaner and thus very different) for a change, instead of the usual "who cares" cheap rip-off remixes that either fail to change the songs enough or alter them beyond all recognition. Of course, it's hard to track down an Epic International-only copy of this, but as such items are, this is tons cheaper and quicker than hunting down the individual EPs. And it comes with all four videos too, if you can access the files. A little global internet shopping is clearly in order.

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