Brilliant Corners

Somebody up There Likes Me

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With trumpets blaring and guitars jangling, the Brilliant Corners sound like they're ready to party on Somebody Up There Likes Me. Pop music doesn't need studio gloss to craft toe-tapping hooks, and the Brilliant Corners glide through 12 songs on Somebody Up There Likes Me with infectious enthusiasm and hummable melodies. The title track and "Your Feet Never Touch the Ground" are exhilarating, driven by propulsive guitars and jubilant horns. Bristling with youthful exuberance, "Teenage" and "Friday Saturday Sunday Monday" each clock in a little over two minutes, and their brevity makes them even more addictive. Like Aztec Camera and the Smiths, the Brilliant Corners are able to decorate sad tales with deceptively upbeat new wave rhythms. The Brilliant Corners a lament a girl's passing in "She's Dead," but the music sounds more like a celebration than a wake. On the LP's most powerful song, "Never a Young Girl," vocalist David Woodward sings of a woman whom he was once in love with when he was a child, but now old age has taken its toll on her looks. "The cracks on the ceiling match the cracks on her face," Woodward laments as the band adopts the Smiths' slower, moodier moments, an uncharacteristic yet welcome respite from the Brilliant Corners' usual bursts of energy. Like almost everything else on the album, it's brilliant.

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