Sunday, March 17, 2019

Archive Review: The Bangles' Everything (1988)

The Bangles' Everything
Dear Susanna, Debbi, Vicki, and especially Michael:

I’ve been reading a lot of words ‘bout how y’all decided to write or co-write all of the songs on your new album, Everything, and how a lot of know-nothing, haven’t-listened-to-a-record-all-the-way-through-in-years critics have been insulting your considerable talents by dismissing the new disc as “too saccharine,” as “too much sweetness and light.” One friend of mine even waggishly suggested that each copy of the album come with a free lollipop (this was before I forcibly changed his mind…in a purely intellectual manner, of course).

Pay no attention to all that vitriolic critical crapola those clown-boys are spreading around like so much manure. I know that Everything is an entertaining and intelligent collection of tunes done up in the finest pop-rock tradition, replete with delicious melodies, hypnotizing harmony, trademark tight instrumentation, and songwriting that, while perhaps not the equal of former Bangles contributors Prince and Kimberly Rew, is mighty darn close (besides, does nobody else remember your 1984 breakthrough LP All Over the Place, of which nine of the album’s eleven songs were Bangles-written jewels?).

Maybe all of those self-righteous prigs are so damn busy listening to their gloomy Joy Division and Bauhaus records that they’ve forgotten that, first and foremost, rock ‘n’ roll was meant to be fun, Fun, FUN! Personally, I spell F-U-N with Susanna’s delicate, haunting vocals; Vicki’s jangling, Byrds-like guitar lines and tough vocals; Debbi’s tasteful, rhythmic drumbeats; and (especially) Michael’s throbbing, powerful bass lines. One spin of Everything proves that y’all deliver the unabashed rock ‘n’ roll goods…not just another bunch of pretty faces printed in 12x12 to try and sell records.

Love to all (especially Michael)...

Review originally published by The Metro (Nashville), 1988

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