Tullycraft

The Railway Prince Hotel

  • AllMusic Rating
    7
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

On their seventh album, The Railway Prince Hotel, Tullycraft haven't gone disco or heavy metal, and they haven't mellowed; they are still energetic twee poppers through and through. Sean Tollefson still writes hooky, bubblegummy songs that are cute but not fully, he and Jenny Mears still sing like a cardigan-clad Sonny & Cher, guitarists/multi-instrumentalists Chris Munford and Corianton Hale know how to put a song together, and it all sounds instantly familiar to anyone who ever fell in love with a Tullycraft song. The band have been making music for almost 20 years and still sound as fresh and inspired as ever. Up-tempo tracks like "We Couldn't Dance to Billy Joel" and "Has Your Boyfriend Lost His Flavor on the Bedpost Overnight?" have all the humor and spunk of their early records; "It's Not Explained It's Delaware" is a sprightly sprint most kids half their age would be hard-pressed to keep up with; and "Midi Midinette" has all the swinging bounce of their best work. Like most of Tullycraft's latter-day albums, Railway Prince Hotel isn't just fun and games; there are tracks that have some depth, too. Maybe a little less this time than on Lost in Light Rotation, but songs like "Passing Observations" and "Hearts at the Sound" have a burnished nostalgic glow brought about by warm hearts and treasured memories. It adds up to another great album in every regard except the sound. Their longtime drummer Jeff Fell is absent, and he's greatly missed. There's a tinny, half-finished feel to many of the songs, and that's because they didn't play as a band, but built the songs piece by piece instead. This drop-off in sonic quality isn't enough to make the album a wreck or render it a miss; however, it does bring it down a notch from some of their recent albums that had great songs and exciting performances, but also a richer, more powerful sound. That said, even a less-than-stellar Tullycraft album is worth a spin or three.

blue highlight denotes track pick