The Bluebells

The Singles Collection

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Even the most despondent soul will not be able to resist the Bluebells' charms on The Singles Collection. Containing more than an hour of uplifting, buoyant, and toe-tapping jangle pop, The Singles Collection is an irresistible career retrospective from a band that should've sold as many records as the Beatles. Unfortunately, the Bluebells were trapped in the wrong decade. The influence of '80s college-radio favorites such as Aztec Camera and the Pale Fountains is easily detected in the Bluebells' marriage of new wave and folk, but the golden harmonies of "Everybody's Somebody's Fool" and "Cath" recall '60s fixtures like the Everly Brothers and Every Mother's Son. "All I Ever Said" captures the lovestruck innocence of the early Beatles. On "Patriot's Game" and "Aim in Life," the Bluebells explore serious matters such as the futility of war and the loneliness of old age with warmth and intelligence; although they're not as hummable as most of the tracks on The Singles Collection, they inject emotional weight in the group's discography. However, there's nothing wrong with catchy, rousing pop music, and the Bluebells cook a king's feast on The Singles Collection. One listen is all it takes to be spellbound by the shimmering hooks of songs such as "Forever More" and "Happy Birthday (Turn Gold)."

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