Before & After (Asia)


aec.imt849166.2 3/24/09 New
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    Before & After (Asia) Cooking Vinyl

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Review Text If Yeah was the sound of the Wannadies getting bad blood out of their system, then Before and After is its joyous, carefree follow-up, a record as free and uninhibited as the last weeks of June, when the promise of the entire summer still lies ahead. Well, mostly anyway -- the Wannadies haven't completely abandoned their demons, as a song like "Piss on You" shows -- but this is basically a happier Wannadies than the last time out. So why does it feel so hollow? Before and After was marked by a slightly difficult birth -- initially conceived as a "concept" double album in which the first disc was "go out and party" music and the second was mellow "come down" music, the project was trimmed down to a single disc. The concept stuck, though, as the first half a dozen songs (the "before" half) are, as they said, the "party" songs, and the latter half ("after") are mostly reflective ballads. The problem is that the Wannadies seem to be in somewhat of a songwriting rut. While there was evidence of this on Yeah, they covered it up with walls of strings, disco beats, and T. Rex-style glam rock, but on Before and After the style is more warts and all, exposing that their hooks simply aren't quite as strong this time out. That doesn't mean this is a failure -- a decent Wannadies album is better than most guitar pop bands' best works -- and many of the tunes here, like "Skin," "Piss on You," and "Little By Little" rank as Wannadies classics. But as an album, Before and After falls a bit behind. Maybe it's better to view it as a collection of two conceptually related EPs -- which is fair, and even more or less accurate -- and on that level, it's at least an interesting experiment. ~ Jason Damas

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Little by Little
  2. 2. Nothing Wrong
  3. 3. Piss on You
  4. 4. Skin
  5. 5. Uri Geller
  6. 6. All Over Me
  7. 7. Disko
  8. 8. Singalong Son
  9. 9. Come with Me (Till Things Get Better)
  10. 10. Happy
  11. 11. Can't Stop You
  12. 12. Love Letter
  13. 13. Skin
  14. 14. Piss on You
  15. 15. Little by Little
  16. 16. Little by Little

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