The Posies: Success

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The Posies

Album: Success
Label: Pop Llama

The story of the Seattle pop band The Posies starts with an album called Failure and ends 10 years later with Success; of course, both titles are ironic. Failure spawned glowing reviews in 1988, as well as widespread interest from record labels willing to bank on the possibility of a power-pop renaissance in American music. Subsequent Posies albums, particularly 1993's Frosting On The Beater, were filled with Big Star-inspired pop classics, buoyed by beautiful vocal harmonies and sparkling guitars. But despite the accolades and a tiny handful of minor radio hits ("Dream All Day" was the biggest), the band lost its record deal—the commercial failure of 1996's Amazing Disgrace didn't help—and ultimately broke up. That leaves The Posies' posthumous Success. Fittingly, the album ties up a variety of creative loose ends, mixing catchy, urgent, harmony-oozing pop ("Somehow Everything," "Farewell Typewriter") with crunchy, distorted rock ("Looking Lost"), a six-minute ballad ("You're The Beautiful One"), and strange, keyboard-driven, '80s-style pop-soul ("Start A Life"). Some songs work better than others, of course, but Success ultimately works as a surprisingly adventurous goodbye on The Posies' own hummable terms. Fans should seek it out, while the uninitiated would do well to start with Frosting On The Beater or 1990's Dear 23, and go from there.

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