The Eraserheads

Sticker Happy

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On the Eraserheads' 1995 album, the masterful and top-selling Cutterpillow, the band built their sound around catchy melodies woven in inventive rock and pop-styled arrangements. 1996's Fruitcake was a misguided effort, and the band's liberal use of dissonance was jarring and often not necessary. 1997's Sticker Happy is a congenial mixture of the two styles. While the album isn't as enjoyable nor the melodies as uniformly strong as on Cutterpillow, which remains the band's best album, Sticker Happy has a number of fine moments. "Ha Ha Ha," for example, works off a spirited opening melody and works up to a slow, hypnotic, melodic motif in the line "Ha, ha, ha." On the extended bridge, the band ventures into other adventurous territory altogether, everything held together by the melodic motif. The ending dissonance is probably unnecessary, though.

"Kaliwete" (Left-Handed) employs a catchy melody of the type often associated with the band, augmented here by a snappy and alluring guitar line. "Milk and Honey" is a combination of catchy pop and an almost willful bent toward an alternative, anti-commercial stance. The album also contains a number of misfires, including the meandering and boring "Downtown," "Ambi Dextrose," "Everything They Say," and "Spoliarium." Overall, though, the album is a commendable effort, although a listener will need to hear the album several times before it all sinks in.

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