Young Picnickers

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AllMusic Review by Dan LeRoy

Young Picnickers is probably the least essential of the Pearlfishers' first three albums for Marina, which isn't exactly damning them with faint praise. It's still a lovely collection of pristine pop songs, complicated only by a burgeoning jazz/soul influence that often overshadows head Fisher David Scott's dual fixations on the Beatles and Beach Boys. At times, as on "Over and Over," the loungey, leisurely backing makes things too polite. Conversely, when it works -- and most of the time it does, especially on the giddy, harmony-drenched opener "We're Gonna Save the Summer" and the marvelous, R&B-tinged "We'll Get By" -- you have the best album Prefab Sprout never made. A side benefit of the more subtle backing is that it puts greater emphasis on Scott's lyrics, which sometimes ("Stella Painted Joy," full of clever lines) rise to the occasion. Brian McAlpine's keyboards take a more dominant role on this disc, but he departed afterward -- and Scott would manage to balance his jangly pop jones and more complex, jazzier influences more effectively on the masterful Across the Milky Way two years later.

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