Heavenly Heavenly Versus Satan

It's hard to believe that it has been more than ten years since Heavenly's debut record was released in the UK by the now legendary Sarah Records. Heavenly Versus Satan wasn't actually released in the U.S., though (being the only Heavenly album that skipped American shores), but is now getting a belated release via K Records. It has aged remarkably well, and it still sounds fresh after a decade and could stand on its own feet against the majority of the music coming out today. It also helps to fill in the gaps in the band's evolution; the songs don't sound terribly different from those of Talulah Gosh, but they were beginning to develop a little bit. Instead of the naive, shambling songs from days gone by, they were starting to write more sophisticated tunes that could never be described as one-dimensional pop. That, naturally, continued to happen with subsequent records and continues to this day in the band's newest incarnation, Marine Research. In addition the original eight songs, the CD contains six additional songs that appeared on seven-inch singles that are also no longer available - although only about half of these are worth hearing, "Our Love Is Heavenly‚" in particular, and one more, "Escort Crash On Marston Street‚" is a remake of the album track "Wish Me Gone‚" with rather amusing lyrics about the band dying in a car crash. Simply put, Heavenly Versus Satan is an essential purchase for any indie-pop fan that doesn't already have it in their collection. (K)