Teenage Fanclub: Shadows [Album Review]

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Teenage Fanclub
Merge Records [2010]

It’s hard to believe that it has been 20 years since Teenage Fanclub launched their debut record, A Catholic Education in 1990. They are a band that has experienced it all, from being hyped as the next big thing to signing with major labels and building a solid career in an industry filled with failures. Now, at a more relaxed stage in their career, the band has nothing left to prove, and Shadows is a result of this focused yet pressure-free environment. What makes Teenage Fanclub and Shadows so engaging is that at its core, it represents a full return to the Teenage Fanclub basics. Their previous record, Man-Made from 2005, was a solid listen, but it ventured into several new musical territories for the band, including recording in Chicago and leaving everything but their guitars back in Glasgow.

Shadows brings back all the elements that define Teenage Fanclub’s style, including synthesizers, guitar work, strings, flutes, and, of course, their trademark harmonies. These components have always set the band apart and give their music a flowing, likable, and almost ethereal quality. Shadows should bring joy to any Fanclub followers out there, as it marks a consistent return to form and is their best record since Songs From Northern Britain in 1997. This album easily withstands repeated listens, possesses a timeless quality, and firmly underscores their status as a “career band” in the world of Teenage Fanclub.

“Baby Lee” / “Dark Clouds” / “Today Never Ends”

The Byrds / Trashcan Sinatras / The House Of Love

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Christopher Anthony
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