Never ones to fit snugly beside their early ‘90s Seattle playmates, The Posies were instead the band that was most overtly committed to reproducing the sublime jangly guitar pop of Big Star. The songwriting partnership of Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow injected louder guitars and even more power-pop sensibilities into their music, but their infatuation eventually led to head ‘Star Alex Chilton recruiting them for his band’s ‘reunion’ tours.
‘Every Kind Of Light’ sees the duo back in the driving seat and picking up pretty much where 1998’s sultry ‘Success’ left off. That’s maybe slightly untrue: parts of ‘Every Kind…’ sound like a return to the meatier rock of their mid-‘90s work, it’s just that those songs don’t sound as convincing as the gooey AOR pop evident on ‘Love Comes’, for example. ‘Second Time Around’ has a sledgehammer guitar riff, but it’s not much of a song. Anyway the Posies were always better at being a pop band than a rock band, right?
But there’s that niggling term: AOR. Because, despite the one or two stabs at youthful exuberance evident here, this _is_ an AOR album through and through. Even Teenage Fanclub, who have settled so deeply into their own wistful groove they may well be growing roots, come over like a carefree Gen X update of The Byrds. The Posies now spend their time obsessing over the stifling American condition; the evils of corporations, George WB, consumerism (remember they were burnt by giants DGC themselves), but as with Bruce Springsteen’s faux nationalistic tirades, it’s hard to hear past the glitz and gloss. It’s lucky at least that they’re good at it.
6Tom Edwards's Score