The Chills / Martin Phillipps & The Chills


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On Surrounded, Phillipps digs his lyrical nails right into your romantic skin and rips the surface with the zippy, stinging "(Please Don't Say We'll Be) Friends Again," featuring his clever, bitingly bitter reaction to the bad news that makes one feel so helpless: "Last night bordered on comedy time/With you the jester and me the mime," leading to such lashing, pricked, and wounded wisdom as "But I loved you/And I lost you/So it hurts me now to just hang around with you." All over, people shudder in recognition, like Burl Ives' snowman in "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer": "Brrrrrrrrrr." After this, "Stupid Way to Go" and the odd yet fun whimsy of "Yabba Dabba Doo" -- in which Barney Rubble's twin is slain in a bowling-night knife fight -- are anticlimactic, but both continue the quality of the above four.