Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sugar - Copper Blue


What a surprise!  I knew absolutely nothing about this band before pressing Play this morning, and it's shown me my husband can still astonish me after eight years.  This album is (whisper this so he doesn't get offended) positively pure pop-rock.  My only criticism is the band obviously didn't pay any attention to the tracklisting, as the opening number is quite lack-lustre.

I vaguely recall hearing Helpless before but it was If I Can't Change Your Mind that really got me hopping about in the car this morning.  Top tune, good album, why haven't you played it to me before?  Hmmm?  Could it be it's just a little too MOR for your street cred, honey?  (YourZ sez: first of all: what street cred?  The fact is I had all but forgotten about this album but not again).  The close harmonies and great arrangements actually reminded me of Lush and the Bangles, so there.



See, this is why this project is so fucking good because it's putting me back in touch with albums like Copper Blue and the songwriting of guitarist/vocalist Bob Mould - and whose existence in our collection had been all but forgotten.  When it came out, it was such an influential piece on me  - more than just about anything else around at the time, with the only possible exception being The Pixies (who openly acknowledge Mould's former band, Husker Du, as being a big influence).

Copper Blue is a stunning pop record, thinly disguised with abrasive guitars and a tough rhythm section.  But listening back, there's no doubting Mould's intentions.  The statement is clear in tracks like If I Can't Change Your Mind, for instance, which is just about the most perfect guitar pop song ever recorded.  Then there's A Good Idea, the best song The Pixies never wrote.  The rest of the track listing is similarly brilliant.

I really don't know why I forgot about this album.  Probably got distracted by too many shiny objects (yes, it happens).  Copper Blue is not like a long lost friend, but more like a close relative who appears on the doorstep after years, maybe looking a little care-worn but still very much a member of the family and whose appearance is cause for much celebration.  And this album is so worth celebrating.

Copper Blue, without a doubt, is the first Forgotten Gem for May (and a contender for the best Forgotten Gem of the year).


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  1. Chris, I had to look up what this was but now that I have, I'm very keen to hear it. Bob is now being played regularly again, as he should.