Song of the Day #3,178: ‘Everything Flows’ – Teenage Fanclub

Wrapping up my look at the music of 1990, here’s Teenage Fanclub with their debut album, A Catholic Education.

The Scottish alternative band would morph into more of a power pop band on subsequent releases, but this album sounds like an early grunge record. I’m guessing I’d prefer their later work.

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Song of the Day #3,177: ‘Birdhouse in Your Soul’ – They Might Be Giants

They Might Be Giants has released 19 studio albums, including one as recently as last year, but their most popular and acclaimed remains 1990’s Flood. The record was the Brooklyn duo’s major label release and featured their two biggest hits, ‘Birdhouse in Your Soul’ and ‘Istanbul (Not Constantinople).’

I’ve always lumped TNBG in with Barenaked Ladies as bands with definite musical chops that toe the line between legitimate artists and novelty acts. I’m a big fan of most Barenaked Ladies albums, but I don’t know anything by They Might Be Giants other than the two hits mentioned above, so I don’t know if my assessment is correct.

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Song of the Day #3,176: ‘Repeater’ – Fugazi

After a brief detour through delightful jangle pop territory, 1990 brings back the noise with Fugazi’s Repeater.

The Washington, D.C-based band is described as “post-hardcore,” which basically mean hardcore punk with a little more thought put in. It still sounds like a whole lot of screaming and thrashing to me. I wonder about the mental and emotional state of somebody who finds comfort or release in music like this.

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Song of the Day #3,175: ‘There She Goes’ – The La’s

Now this is more my style.

Liverpool-based The La’s released their first and last album in 1990. The self-titled record is one of those you hear described as the best album you’ve never heard of.

The dozen jangle pop songs on The La’s sound like they could have been released three decades earlier, when another group of spunky Liverpudlians were about to take over the world.

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Song of the Day #3,174: ‘Welcome to the Terrordome’ – Public Enemy

I’m traveling back in time to 1990 again this week, with better results, I hope. Last week’s batch of critically-acclaimed albums leaned toward the loud and anti-melodic. Was this pop culture’s reaction to the Reagan years?

Kicking off this week is another loud and anti-melodic album, but one from a group I admire and at least occasionally enjoy. Public Enemy followed up their seminal 1988 album It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back with Fear of a Black Planet, another burst of righteous defiance.

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