Friday, November 18, 2005

Big Star - Lost In Space

Let's assume that John Lennon and George Harrison were still alive. Does anyone REALLY think it would be a good idea for the Beatles to get together and make another record at this late date? Or maybe the Velvet Underground would be a better comparison? After a silence of 30 years or so, can any incredibly influential band hope to surpass their seminal work(s)? Certainly not Big Star. I knew all that, and yet I couldn't help it: I downloaded In Space, the first Big Star studio album since the mid-70's, from last month. As expected, it was a disappointment, despite the presence of Ken Stingfellow and Jon Auer of the Posies, a band which is my personal favorite heir to the Big Star legacy. Don't get me wrong: there are some good songs like Dony (in particular), Lady Sweet (basically a Posies song), Best Chance We've Ever Had, February's Quiet, and Mine Exclusively, most of which sound like vintage-Big Star. But the album is uneven at best, riddled with the kind of fuck-around, mess-with-our-expectations crap that's marked/marred Alex Chilton's post-Big Star work (or even Sister Lovers/Third, for that matter). Love Revolution is just plain embarrassing ("Shake that funky thing," my ass!). My advice: start with Dony and the other songs I mentioned, but don't feel obligated by nostalgia to be a completist.


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