by Teenage Fanclub


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Can it be possible that Teenage Fanclub have been together for 15 years? The band have mellowed since their noisy 1990 debut, A Catholic Education, but, lasting through myriad musical trends, their basic sound -- melodic guitar pop -- has remained the same. It's the kind of music that never goes out of style, though the Fannies' skill has grown with each new release. Recorded with frequent Wilco and Sonic Youth collaborator John McEntire, their eighth album has a clean, crisp sound that really plays to the band's strengths -- chiming guitars and exquisite three-part harmonies. Songwriting and lead vocal duties are democratically divided among the core of Norman Blake, Gerry Love, and Raymond McGinley; however they've become such a tight, homogenous unit it hardly matters who's singing anymore. That said, Blake is especially on top of his game here, with Man-Made containing two of his loveliest songs: the album-opening "It's All in My Mind" and the introspective, Byrds-y "Cells." Love, arguably Teenage Fanclub's finest voice and most consistent songwriter, is at his dreamy best on "Fallen Leaves" and "Time Stops." And McGinley, once the least of the trio, has come into his own over the last three records and turns in "Only with You," perhaps Man-Made's finest moment. Few bands deliver this kind of quality album after album. As long as they're making ones like this, Teenage Fanclub will still be welcome in another 15 years.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/07/2005
Label: Merge Records
UPC: 0036172956227
catalogNumber: 262
Rank: 101361

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3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a longtime fan, but I have to say I am quite disappointed in this effort from TFC. The album starts off mellow...and pretty much stays that way. Norman Blake's tunes are usually stand-outs for me, but on this one (except the first track "it's all in my mind") he sounds as dull and un-energetic as his band mates. Last album "Howdy" was definitley a "slow burner" -- took a few listens to really open up -- then I loved it! "Man-Made" DOES open up after repeated listens..but still only into "just OK" territory. After I picked up the compilation that was released between Howdy and Man-made...I had high hopes - since the 3 new songs on the compilation were quite good - especially Blake's "Did I say?" - complete with lush strings and that great odd time signature I have come to expect from him since "Start Again" -- but "man made" falls far short from this greatness. Will still see them live if they come to US since they have such a strong catalog of songs. Love the band and their sound, just expected a little more pep and crunch out of this one.