While most Anglophilic ears were tuned into the Beatles-inspired sounds emanating from Mother England in the mid-'90s, a few American bands were offering the same sort of retro-pop pleasures. Atlanta's Tender Idols positioned themselves at the head of that pack -- and not just because they boasted their very own British-born frontman, Ian Webber, for extra credibility. At their best on this ten-song debut, Tender Idols match the efforts of past-plundering bands like Oasis and Blur; given that the songs are served up with a smile instead of a sneer, it's tempting to say they're better. Whichever is true, there's no arguing with the breathless, jangly rush of "For Love I'd Die" or the heartfelt balladry of "Sunlovers." Tender Idols do fall prey to some of the same weaknesses that afflicted many of their U.K. contemporaries: showing off on a blustering bluesy yawner ("International") and working a bit too close to Morrissey's bed ("Realife"). Such failings can only be redeemed with a dose of good, old-fashioned singalong pop -- and luckily, there's enough of it here to do the trick.
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AllMusic Review by Dan LeRoy