Teenage Fanclub Shadows

Teenage Fanclub Shadows
Something about Man-Made, Teenage Fanclub's 2005 effort, just didn't sit right. Everything fans had grown to love and expect from the Scottish quintet was there: shimmering guitars, summery melodies and those three-part vocal harmonies. But a sense that something sinister was lurking underneath coloured its surface appeal. Shadows, the group's ninth record, retains all of Man-Made's high points while trading that sense of unease for full-blown, sunny optimism. Highlights will depend on which of the band's three songwriters is your favourite, but Norman Blake's "Baby Lee," filled with effortless hooks lifted straight from 1995's Grand Prix, is an undeniable standout. Like Man-Made, Shadows isn't the best place for Teenage Fanclub newbies to dive in ― that would be their fuzzed-up, early '90s material. But the group, which have played together for over 20 years, are still firing on all cylinders, writing indie pop tunes that make most of the bands they've influenced look like amateurs. (Merge)