After the release of Amazing Disgrace, it appeared as though the Posies were through as Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow called it quits. They soon reunited, however (for the first time in what would become a series of break-ups and reunions), to record their fifth studio album, Success. Switching to an indie label from Geffen, the band were awarded more creative freedom and more room to move. Initially, Auer had stated the band was attempting to record a country-rock album, but along the way they were diverted. Still, from listening to the opening notes of "Somehow Everything," it's clear that some of that country influence made it through. Success is the most laid-back album the Posies have recorded to date; freed of the glossy production of their Geffen years and of the major label pressure to record a "hit," they turned out an album that was more immediate, more relaxed, and more theirs. The downside, of course, is that the Posies' three albums for Geffen are as great as they are, so by comparison this album comes off lazy at times. The problem is that as an album, Success doesn't work as well as its predecessors. It does have some of the finest songs the band has ever recorded (the opening country-rock of "Somehow Everything," the new wavey single "Start a Life," and the gorgeous ballad "You're the Beautiful One"), but those songs are sandwiched in between some of the closest things to filler that the Posies have ever recorded. It's a convincing statement that there was still trouble in the band, and, as mentioned earlier, they disbanded again following the release of this album. However, despite its faults, Success is the album that shouldn't-have-been, and for that reason alone fans will certainly be glad to have it.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Damas