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    The La's

    the la's

    The La's 9 ( 1990 )
    Son Of A Gun / I Can't Sleep / Timeless Melody / Liberty Ship / There She Goes / Doledrum / Feelin' / Way Out / IOU / Freedom Song / Failure / Looking Glass

    Within the space of twelve months, The Stone Roses released 'The Stone Roses', The Sundays released 'Reading, Writing, Arithmetic' and The La's released 'The La's'. None of the acts went onto repeat the majesty of their debut sets and in the case of The La's, even manage to make another LP. Lee Mavers has routinely called this debut LP 'rubbish' and it only ever came out after much re-mixing, re-recording and banging of heads against walls. You get the feeling if it had been left to Lee Mavers that this album would never have come out, hence the bands lack of a follow-up. I do need to say at this juncture that it's always difficult reviewing an album lots of people not only like, but cherish and hold. An album that's formed part of a shared cultural heritage, even. Of course, 'There She Goes' is a tune Postmen sing and Milkmen whistle, yet other songs here also mean something dear to someone, somewhere. Well, in theory you can say that about any album and any song, yet it's particularly true of this beat-group offering from Liverpool's The La's. Forgotten Britpop also-rans Cast were a direct offshoot of The La's and didn't sound radically different, yet it's true that Lee Mavers The La's album contains a much smarter sound than the mashed potatoe offerings of Cast. You can actually hear distinct instrumentation here and a few of the tunes are undeniably excellent. There's nothing innovative about the LP and it sounds like it could and perhaps should have been released in the 60's, pre 1966 of course. It would have been huge, nearly every song here sports a distinctive guitar part of one sort or another and it is that songwriting 'innovation', being able to capture a perfectly simple melody that's timeless and hummable that really is key when discussing this record.

    So, every song has a hook that reels you in. Some of course are hookier than others, though. I adore 'Timeless Melody' and have done now for the past seventeen years. That in itself makes me wonder. Seventeen years, has it really been that long? I was sixteen back then, a ripe age and exactly the right age to take in The La's. There's something lonely about the vocals of Lee Mavers that during 'Timeless Melody' appeals to me when placed next to the uplifting guitar pop. Taking that to extremes, the closing eight minute long 'Looking Glass' sees Lee lonelier than ever amidst a simple, hypnotic repeating guitar figure. 'Feelin' is glorious pop, 'There She Goes' something The Beatles would have been proud to have written circa 1965. This is a classic LP yet it's deceptively simple in terms of sound. Too simple perhaps, because this is an album it's all too easy to overlook, even as an appreciative fan of the album, it's too easy to let it pass you happily by without reaching to your left ear and tugging it forwards to 'get' the cleverness of the simple catchy melodies. A nine.

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    Readers Comments

    Gazza garyhess44@hotmail.com
    Adrian , i think this could be a 10 . Its basically oasis 4 or 5 years before they happened but the las fluctuating line ups and the perfectionism bordering on mania of mavers scuttled them . The songs here suggest mavers was more gifted than gallagher too , it incorporates kinks,early who , revolver era beatles and love but still sounds very much distilled into something else, something more original than gallaghers constant mimicry . its grimy melodious rock still sounds amazing today . A modern classic and one of the best british guitar rock albums of the last 20 years .

    Jonny S barnetcasual@yahoo.co.uk bougfht this album recently, and i have to say i ws impressed, evertone knows the classic anthem "there She Goes", but their are some other gems on here as well, namely "IOU", "freedom song" and the closing epic "looking glass". its a shame Mavers didnt do another album, but i do like a few of casts songs, may not be the La's, but you cant deny "walkaway"s, beauty.

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    this page last updated 23/11/08

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