100 Greatest Albums of the 90’s: #38

Teenage Fanclub – Bandwagonesque
Teenage Fanclub sound like music fans. These are the guys who lived for that moment when they got home from school when they could sling their headphones on and dive into the melodic power pop of Big Star or the glorious barrage of experimentation from Sonic Youth. A few decades later, back when iPods weren’t allowed at my school, it was ‘Bandwagonesque’ I was running home to listen to – or rather waiting patiently in my mum’s car to listen to. These songs are charmingly simple-minded; lyrically, this could easily pass for a record played on pirate radio stations in the 60’s. They even use the line “She’s got me on the run”; how many times have we heard that line sung by a group of nice, neat boys sitting on stools. The music itself is still wonderful, catchy, slightly messy guitar pop music, but with a experimental gleam in its eye. Even though it can occasionally get (thrillingly) noisy, this is a masterpiece of innocence, of untainted sweet-natured sentiment. Moments come back and haunt you during the day. The chorus of ‘Alcoholiday’, the unforgettable riff from ‘December’ and the guitar break in ‘I Don’t Know’ will be constantly vying for your attention. The clear and unexpected highlight is the instrumental closer ‘Is This Music?’ which sounds like the perfect end to the perfect gig, being suitably epic with soaring human emotion without being over-sentimental or dramatic.

Listen to: Is This Music?

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