The Green Pajamas

The Night Races into Anna

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With The Night Races into Anna, Jeff Kelly reasserts his ability to write some good neo-psych songs some 20-odd years into his career with the Green Pajamas. Arriving on the heels of 2005's 21st Century Séance, this album is yet another serving of the Green Pajamas' immediately accessible psychedelic power pop consisting of 20 outtakes, previously unreleased tracks, alternate mixes, and rare singles recorded between 1997 and 2006. Like 2002's Narcotic Kisses, The Night Races into Anna feels like a stopgap album, a grab-bag jumble of odds and ends that doesn't quite reach the heights of 1997's Indian Winter -- in other words, something to tide the fans over before the next full-length release. That said, The Night Races into Anna has some good moments. "Through a Lonely Window," an outtake from 21st Century Séance, feels painfully, wonderfully early '90s with its soaring, reverby guitars and dark vocals (think Robyn Hitchcock's Perspex Island with less sugar), and "Memory of You" is built of the kind of pop hookiness that harks back to the band's "Kim the Waitress" days. The paisley-printed lyrics of songs like "Looking for Heaven" and "Forever 13" might present a bit of a challenge to those who aren't accustomed to the Pajamas' occasional forays into almost cartoony psychedelia, but for Pajamas fans, The Night Races into Anna is worth an occasional plunge down the rabbit hole.

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