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Superchunk | Here's to Shutting Up (Matador)
The seventh studio album from the 'Chunk, is consistently true to form. Kicking off with the single Late Century Dream ("Everybody grows up weaned on some sick late century dream / Of a happy face on a shirt that smiles Shop Until You Drop") , this is basically a treat from start to finish, finding the band taking a more measured approach to their music. Phone Sex and The Animal Has Left Its Shell ?? two stand out tracks ?? are laid-back and introspective (yet never whimsical). Elsewhere there are the perfectly crafted pop songs you'd expect (Act Surprised, Art Class) while Florida on Fire is another highlight, and like Late Century Dream, insists you turn it on and turn it up. While violins and cello augment the assured production (and there's even some pedal steel on Phone Sex) it never veers towards the overblown, a la Mercury Rev, but is a solid, lyrical and unpretentious album from everyone's favourite US Indie band.

Malcolm Skene
CWAS #9 - Winter 2002