Review: Teenage Fanclub Serves Their Followers Well

Videos by American Songwriter

Teenage Fanclub
Nothing Lasts Forever
4 out of 5 Stars

A new album by Teenage Fanclub can only be described as an auspicious—and enjoyable—occasion. A band whose 30-plus year career has been marked by an absolute allegiance to melody rather than mayhem, they manage to create sumptuous songs that flow both effortlessly and effectively, music so gorgeous one would swear it was plucked from flower pop gems that were lost and lingering in a distant land and never happened upon until now. It’s ear candy of the highest order, all effortless engagement that’s both pleasant and persistent in terms of the effect they leave on their listener. 

That consistency is clear, given the fact that they’ve never faltered when it comes to purveying their melodic charms. Naturally, that seems to indicate that the album title is somewhat innocuous given that every album they’ve made is as effervescent and engaging as every effort that preceded it from the very beginning. That joy and jubilance rings through practically every song, from the sumptuous sheen that envelopes “Foreign Land” and the jubilant “Self-Sedation,” to the rousing revelry of “Back to the Light” and the brash and buoyant “It’s Alright.” 

As a result, there’s not a single entry that negates the sheer sense of abject celebration that defines each of these entries, no matter whether the mood is meant to be rollicking or reflective. Even the most thoughtful offerings here—“I Will Love You” and “Tired of Being Alone” in particular—convey a feeling of absolute engagement through their delightful designs. A hint of psychedelia also permeates the proceedings, serving to further enhance the atmospheric allure that’s present from the first note to the last. 

That comfort and caress is exemplified by the tellingly titled “It’s Alright” in particular.

From high rise tower to stately home
From morning light till the evening gloam
They’ll be no need for worry now
It’s alright…

Given the reassurance and resolve borne by each of these songs, it’s clear Teenage Fanclub knows of what they sing. An illuminating effort in absolutely every regard, Nothing Lasts Forever is easily one of the most memorable musical encounters you’ll hear this year.

Photo by Donald Milne

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