World of Twist

Quality Street

  • AllMusic Rating
    9
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

By the time World of Twist released their first and only album, Quality Street, in 1991, the band's moment had already passed. The buzz from their early singles "The Storm" and "Sons of the Stage" had become an inaudible hum, the band themselves had begun to splinter, and the U.K. scene had decided that a group reliving the best moments of Roxy Music, then twisting them into something bright and danceable, wasn't exactly the thing they wanted just then. (Pulp was certainly listening though, and they reaped the rewards when the public decided they did want something like that after all a couple years later.) The sole long-playing document of the band's existence is a thrillingly poppy and fun album that succeeds despite the checkered history behind it. With majestically epic pop songs like "The Storm" and "Sweets" wedged up against the occasional heartfelt ballad ("This Too Shall Pass Away"), propulsive dance jams ("Jelly Baby") running next to wonderfully expansive psych-pop like "The Spring," and songs that are just so good and so catchy it's hard to believe they didn't take over the world ("Speed Wine," "Lose My Way"), Quality Street is something of a lost classic of the pre-Brit-pop era. To go with the strong tunes, the band had a well-defined, easy to love sound too. Influenced by Roxy and Bowie for sure, but also with some disco and AM pop of the 1970s, Orange Juice, and classic rock in the mix for good measure. Tony Odgen's sometimes snarling, sometimes sweet-as-punch vocals are the focal point of most of the album, but he's ably backed by some truly pummeling drums courtesy of Nick Sanderson, and surrounded by burbling synths, tightly wound guitars (that are lost a bit in the mix unfortunately) and glittering flashes of strings and horns. It's a fully realized and immaculately crafted sound that was made to capture the heady atmosphere of the times in London, but also to stand the test of time the way only classic albums can.

blue highlight denotes track pick