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Galaxie 500: Copenhagen

Album: Copenhagen
Label: Rykodisc

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Since minor indie legend Galaxie 500 broke up in 1991, the Rykodisc label has re-released all three of its languorous, jittery, melodic pop albums, plus a complete disc of singles and miscellany. These four great recordings are available in a beautiful box set, and you can get the studio albums separately. This live recording, recorded for Danish national radio in a smoky Copenhagen night spot, should be a great capstone to the band's discography, and it is a good-sounding record. However, it's also taken from a tour the band embarked upon to support its then-new, and arguably best, album This Is Our Music; consequently, all but two songs are from that CD, the odd couple being covers of songs by Jonathan Richman and the Velvet Underground. In other words, the concert isn't really representative of the band's career. And although the recording quality is high, Galaxie 500 doesn't really do anything new with its material; except for the requisite vocal riffing here and there, these could be informal studio warm-up tracks for the album. Copenhagen is pleasant, but it doesn't really showcase anything about an important band. Thankfully, there are already four discs that do.