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This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to…Belly, Dove December 15, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
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Been listening a lot to Belly’s third (count ‘em – third) album, Dove, related this very year, the first in two decades. It comes complete with the near enough original line-up, Tanya Donelly, Thomas Gorman, Chris Gorman and Gail Greenwood (who replaced Fred Abong after the first album).

In the meantime Tanya Donelly has released solo albums, been involved in a raft of other groups and so on. I always liked Belly and really loved her work as a component element of the Breeders. Indeed one of things that really struck me was just how hard edged her vocals were. There was a rasping aspect that worked perfectly in the context of that latter group. Interestingly Gail Greenwood played with L7 for some years while the Gormans played music and if wiki is to be believed set up a commercial photography business.

The latest album? It’s both a continuation of their previous output and in some ways quite different to that which came before – alternative and folky, hardly novel now, but perhaps had it been released in 1997 that would have been a surprise. Or perhaps not given the arrival of alt-country.

Some have aired criticisms that the album drifts and the songs are a bit too long. I don’t know. There’s something about the melodies that I really like, but above and beyond them are the arrangements and vocals that on successive listens lodge in ones memory. And it’s the small touches – the almost shouted backing vocals on Shiny One, the way in which on Human Child the instrumentation pulls back before the countryish chorus comes in, Army of Clay’s swaggering guitars and vocals, the personal and moving Suffer the Fools.

Three decades and more after their first album that strikes me as a victory.

Shiny One

Human Child

Army of Clay

Suffer The Fools

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