La's La's

Only My Bloody Valentine's Kevin Shields has been artistically dormant for as long as La's singer-songwriter Lee Mavers. Yet while Shields's paralysis is seemingly the product of not being able to travel far out enough, Mavers is reported to be at a loss for how to properly recede from a half-century of sonic innovation. He famously trash-talked this, the Liverpool group's lone album, upon its release, claiming that the only good La's recordings were those captured live in a stable. This tenth anniversary edition is a bittersweet affair - sweet because its wondrous, simple songcraft is as affecting as ever; bitter because it reinforces the likelihood that its sequel will never arrive. The La's has been retrospectively hailed as a progenitor of Britpop, but no subsequent group (especially not Oasis, who wishfully claimed their purpose was "to finish what the La's started") has sounded as focused, purposeful or consistently tuneful. "There She Goes," three minutes to rival anything the Beatles, Kinks or Everly Brothers put forth, is only a ruby among emeralds. Among five bonus tracks, a superior, rawer take of album track "I.O.U.," and "Over" (recorded live in a stable, but not great), further demonstrate the sad cliché of a great talent that knows no wilderness as deep as that of its own creation. (Universal)