Thursday, February 23, 2006
My Top 20 of 2005, #5: The Well Wishers-Under The Arrows
I know what you're thinking: Where did #6-#11 go? Don't worry - they're coming. But exigent circumstances led me to go out of order here for the Well Wishers' brilliant sophomore release, Under The Arrows. Specifically, Not Lame (who released this on their own label) is currently streaming the album in its entirety from their main page, and they usually focus on a release in that manner for less than a week. So by the time I would have normally rolled around to this one (in about a week), the streaming might have been gone.
Why all the fuss? This release has it all - jangly guitars, Beatlesque melodies and harmonies, choruses that won't quit, yet it retains a modern sound and doesn't sound like a tribute album. Plus, it appears that Jeff Shelton & Co. have a soft spot for Foreigner, as two consecutive tracks are titled "Double Vision" and "Break It Up". The latter is maybe the most rocking of the bunch. Meanwhile, the 4th of July holiday gets the theme song it deserves with "Fourth of July" (take a seat, Neil Diamond). My personal favorites are some of mellower ones: "Before The Race Was Run", which sounds like solo Ken Stringfellow, and "Only Sky", whose "is it meeee/is it youuuu" refrain burrowed its way into my head and still can't get out. Not Lame is offering up a 96kbps full-length mp3 of this track here:
Similar to the Golden Apples, who put out a better Big Star album last year than Big Star itself, The Well Wishers put out a better Posies album than the reformed Posies did. So take this limited opportunity to preview this great album in full over at Not Lame, and buy it if you like it.