The Millennium

The Second Millennium

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If you need further proof of what an amazing group the Millennium were, then this Japanese import is just for you. Collectors of the band may find some overlap, but this collection from 2000 has a handful of tracks that were not made available on either of the 2001 compilations put out by Poptones and Sundazed. For the most part, what you'll find here mainly comprises rough demos from the band's classic 1968 LP, Begin. Tracks like "It's You" and "It Won't Always Be the Same" may lose their colorful, produced luster, but it's also apparent how strong the tracks are at the core. The band often seem to walk the line between being a brilliant, perfect sunshine pop band and just a run-of-the-mill folk-rock band. While some of their mid-paced country-rock experiments are not successful, this collection proves what great pop songwriters the combination of Joey Stec and Michael Fennelly could be. "The Ways I Love You" and "Sometime or Another" were sparkling and relaxed. Rewarding moments like these abound on the record with the ultra-melodic bubblegum of "I Just Don't Know How to Say Goodbye" and the sugary, addictive feel of "Baby, It's Real." The track "Suspended Animation" -- with its brushed drums and detached, spaced vocals about androids and new worlds -- provides more than just a guilty pleasure. In fact, the track is probably the best on the collection and gives hope that the band would have drifted off and made the first sci-fi summer pop record. Of course, fans will never know, but quality collections like this should keep imaginations at work for years.

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