Beat Happening's final LP is also their best: concluding the emotional and musical progression begun with the minimalist innocence of their earliest work, You Turn Me On is a mature record of tremendous breadth and complexity. Where once the trio's songs were brief and bouncy, the nine tracks here are epic (several top out at over six minutes) and ambitious; produced in part by ex-Young Marble Giant Stuart Moxham (an obvious influence), the record's full, deep sound belies its bare-bones performances -- "Teenage Caveman" sports booming, primal drums perfectly suited to its title, while the propulsive "Noise" manufactures the illusion of a bassline where none ever existed. The most democratic record in an output founded on egalitarian ideals, You Turn Me On offers Heather Lewis' strongest songs ever -- her hypnotic nine-minute "Godsend" is the LP's heart and soul -- and she and Calvin Johnson even trade verses on the closing "Bury the Hammer." As for Calvin himself, his solo contributions are exceptional -- the spartan opener "Tiger Trap" is an evocative heartbreaker, and the title track is a fire-breathing corker. A masterpiece.
You Turn Me On Review
by Jason Ankeny