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Poor Rich Ones | Joe Maynard's Favourites (Rec 90)
Hot on the heels of lead singer William Hut's first solo output comes this, a summary ?? more so than a 'greatest hits' -collection ?? of Poor Rich Ones' career so far. Another indication, then, that the band is breaking-up? On the evidence of one of the new songs included here, Old Age and Failures, let's hope not ?? this is easily one of their best ever. Both subdued pop and grandiose epic repetition at the same time, this may be the sound they always seem to have striven for. "The noise that can kill you and kiss you in the morning/the capture, it keeps you alive in my sadness." Hut's writing is as enticing and strong as ever, a continued exploration of the desperate loneliness and longings brought about by the need to not be tied down, to not loose oneself in the other(s). Sitting alongside magnificent material such as old favourites Strong, Happy Happy Happy, Fear of Losing, and Twins, there are only two real misses on this compilation. The version of a-ha's Hunting High And Low is rather ineffective, with bland performances from all involved. The other one is Mummy, their first single ever, and the only song here taken from their debut album Naivety's Star ?? a timely reminder, if nothing else, of how much they have evolved over the years, and how they have created a sound of their own in the process ?? one that is grand and intimate, bold and stark naked. The initial pressing of the album includes an hour-long bonus disc of outtakes, demos, covers, and live versions of previously available songs. Apart from a strangely captivating take on Kiss' I Was Made For Lovin' You, the real gem here is a stunning Circular World, recorded live in Wisconsin earlier this year.

Stein Haukland
CWAS #9 - Winter 2002