Sunday, January 29, 2012

Mascots: 1964-68!

A 32-track compilation of their 1960s recordings, including all five of their Swedish Top Ten hits, lots of A-sides, and some B-sides and LP cuts. "Words Enough to Tell You" is top-drawer Merseybeat and better, in fact, than some genuine Merseybeat songs that were international hits. But nothing else here matches that high point, although "A Sad Boy," "When I Return," and "Goodbye" are fair Merseybeat-ish tunes that should be crowd-pleasers among intense British Invasion pop lovers. Too often the production is thin, the English vocals awkwardly accented, and the songwriting slight, and sometimes there's a mawkish Nordic folk-meets-pop/rock vibe. Originals like "Nobody Crying" and "I Close Your Eyes" have a heavy Hollies influence; "I Want to Live," with its moody intensity, frantic rhythms, and undisciplined fuzz guitar break, is by far their wildest outing (and an uncharacteristic one). The later selections tend toward limp pop/rock, and although their earlier recordings are no more original, they're certainly more fun to hear.   - AMG

Listen:Part 1  Part 2

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