Teenage Fanclub - Shadows - New LP
AllMusic Review by Matt Collar: Since 2000's Howdy!, it seems as if Teenage Fanclub's three singer/songwriters -- guitarist Norman Blake, bassist Gerard Love, and guitarist Raymond McGinley -- are on track to deliver a new album every five years. For longtime fans who remember the first time they heard "The Concept" off the band's classic 1991 album Bandwagonesque, that level of output may seem a bit stingy, but when considering TFC's consistently high-quality songwriting, no true "Fannie" fan is likely to complain. In that sense, Teenage Fanclub's 2010 album Shadows is a sparkling and reflective follow-up to the band's stellar 2005 effort, Man-Made. Released on the band's own Pema imprint in the U.K. -- Merge in the U.S. -- Shadows picks up on the introspective, world-weary quality of Man-Made but also delivers a bit of the classic bright pop the band is known for. Where Man-Made found the band struggling with feeling like life was an illusion on the dogged "It's All in My Mind," here you get Love's breezy baroque pop statement of purpose "Sometimes I Don't Need to Believe in Anything," with its chorus of layered synth, strings, flutes, and sundry wind instruments. Similarly, Blake's leadoff single "Baby Lee" is a romantic '60s-styled folk-rocker that veritably shimmers with positive vibes. Elsewhere, Love's "Into the City" is a sunshine pop/country-rock love letter to urban days in the sun and McGinley's "Today Never Ends" is slow-burn psychedelic country-rock rumination on the past, the present, and a perfect day that never ends. If the day is as sun-drenched and relaxed as the songs on Shadows implies, then may it and Teenage Fanclub go on and on.
On August 5, 2014 Merge reissued Teenage Fanclub’s Man-Made and Shadows, two critically acclaimed albums never before available on LP in the US. These reissues were part of our year-long 25th anniversary series of re-releasing classic albums from our back catalog each month throughout 2014.
Teenage Fanclub released Man-Made, their Merge debut, in 2005. Recorded with John McEntire in Chicago, Man-Made is described by the band as “a medium-risk experiment—to cut ourselves off from what we knew, to be in a different type of city, on a different continent, to work with John, a different type of musician, an engineer with a particular sound, and to interact with whatever equipment he had at Soma: his drums, his amplifiers, his keyboards. The plan was to be somewhere truly new and deal with it, see how it worked out. We had never made a record this way before, and the prevailing circumstances at the time, the fact that we really had nothing to lose, made doing something slightly differently seem quite appealing.”
Shadows followed five years later. The band reveals how the recording process differed from the previous album: “Compared with Man-Made, this is a softer isolation, surrounded by fields and emptiness, and the live room at the studio, a converted barn, is filled with our equipment all mic’d up and ready to go. This set-up is how we approached the three records leading up to Man-Made, and we feel it suits us: a residential country location, close enough to drive but with sufficient distance from home to concentrate our minds on the job at hand.”
Both albums illustrate what SPIN magazine wrote of Teenage Fanclub: “Proof that youth is a state of mind you need never outgrow.”
Man-Made and Shadows will be released on 180-gram vinyl, and each LP will include a download of the album plus two bonus tracks.
Shadows bonus tracks:
"Dark and Lonely"
CD does not include bonus tracks.