Tell God I'm Here

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AllMusic Review by Michael Sutton

Hurrah!'s Tell God I'm Here is an album of near-misses. The band tries to sustain interest for an entire LP, but only two tracks are really worthy of attention. The slashing riffs and dynamic vocals of "Sweet Sanity" cut through the album's unyielding blandness. Having the explosive energy and scissor-sharp hooks of a top-drawer radio hit, "Sweet Sanity" slams the door on the LP's middling guitar pop. Tell God I'm Here is handicapped by the group's inability to inject personality and engrossing lyrics into its songs. Acclaimed for its singles, Hurrah! knows how to pack enough toe-tapping melodies onto a 12"; Tell God I'm Here, however, stretches the band's limited scope. Hyped by the British press when it was initially released, Tell God I'm Here is faceless college rock; the group tries to be catchy, but aside from "Sweet Sanity" and "If Love Could Kill," the music is too generic to leave a lasting impression. On "If Love Could Kill," a gripping bassline builds up tension; when the chiming guitars of Paul Handyside and David "Taffy" Hughes kick in, the band sounds inspired, relishing every groove with unshackled exuberance. Once "If Love Could Kill" is finished, though, the group loses its momentum. "Better Time" borrows the Bluebells' warm harmonies but none of that band's tunefulness. In fact, much of Tell God I'm Here creates a sense of déjà vu; just about everything on the album has been done before -- and with more positive results -- by the Smiths, the Mighty Lemon Drops, and the Wedding Present.

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