February 28, 2020

Belinda Carlisle – Gold – Demon Records

By Kristi Kates | Oct. 5, 2019

Following her ’80s star turn with The Go-Gos, frontwoman/singer Carlisle embarked on a solo pop career that sold over eight million records, and you’ll hear most of the reasons for that success in this hits collection. Carlisle combined a distinctive voice with the ability to choose catchy tunes, from the bubbly “Heaven is a Place on Earth” to the winding “Circle in the Sand.” The set features nearly five dozen tracks in all, plus a new recording of Carlisle’s take on Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now.” ***

Lightning Seeds – Jollification Remastered – CMG
This impressive 25th anniversary re-issue adds some welcome sheen to the Seeds’ most notable album, which notched close to a million copies sold for the little band from Liverpool. Singles “Lucky You,” “Change,” and “Perfect” are still just as impactful as they were when the set first arrived in the middle of the Britpop haze of the ’90s. The set was recorded in an old laboratory in Liverpool City Centre, and you can almost hear the audio pop experimentation as it happens. ***

My Life Story – World Citizen – Exilophone
English pop mainstay My Life Story has somewhat faded into the background of what’s stuck from ’90s Britpop, but this set — the band’s first studio release in nearly 20 years — is poised to bring My Life Story into the ears of new Britpop fans, albeit with a more rawk sound than previous efforts. Kicking off with the topical “#NoFilter,” the set offers surprising flair from the addition of a 40-piece orchestra, especially notable on rich-sounding tracks like “Taking on the World” and the indie-pop pending-hit “Broken.” ***

Magnapop – Circle is Round – HHbtm
Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, these ’90s alt-rockers are back with their first set in a decade, and it seems their sound has been flash-frozen, as they sound pretty much the same as when you last heard them: drawly, faintly edgy vocals, distorted guitars, and heavy beats combining for tunes like “The Circle is Round” (perhaps the most old-school Magnapop track on here), the Seattle-sound infused “Slowly Slowly,” and the unexpectedly quieter and reflective “Need to Change.” ** ½


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