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Bob Mould - Workbook (1989) Retail CD
Alternative Pop/ Rock
Workbook was the beginning of a fresh chapter in Mould's life, being the first album he'd released since the demise of Husker Du in 1988 & leaving Warners to sign to Virgin America. Husker Du, like The Replacements, found themselves close to being the next big thing (this would turn out to be REM, in retrospect)- songs like Could You Be the One?, Hardly Getting Over It & Sorry Somehow should all have been huge...the Du are often cited as the band without whom no Pixies, no Nirvana...Here Mould leaves the sound of Husker Du behind- rumoured to have become bored of the formula, the Du had movedmore… from Ramones power-punk pop to New Wave paranoia to hardcore punk to psychelic feedback freakouts to jangly guitar pop. On Workbook, Mould wrote & produced the songs, working with Anton Fier (Golden Palominos) & Jane Scarpantoni (Lou Reed's Ecstasy). The use of cello on most of the tracks predicts the approach of Nirvana's Unplugged...Mould is more of a classic singer-songwriter here, somewhere between Candy Apple Grey/Warehouse-Du and Richard Thompson- the lyrics are quite bleak- its hard not to think of Husker Du/Grant Hart when hearing words like "these poison years, it's just a memory" or "They've held me down for long enough; Like a flower I need to grow". In fact, Compositions for the Young & Old stems from the post-Warehouse era of Husker Du, which produced the underwhelming Ain't No Water in the Well & the standard Now That You Know Me. The acoustic sound is suitably lovely, fitting easily alongside REM's Green and Replacements'Don't Tell a Soul. Mould also goes for that upbeat college rock thing with See a Little Light & Dreaming I Am- Mould's fresh sobriety & outlook hinting at the postive. Workbook is Mould's year zero then- he's only really started embracing Husker Du-era material recently. Tracks like Brasilia Crossed with Trenton & Whichever Way The Wind Blows see Mould move towards more epic structures than usual- very much continued on his next solo album. The greatest track for me is the opening salvo of instrumental Sunspots and Wishing Well- the latter showcasing Mould's melancholic sensibilities with sublime acoustics & strings. Wishing Well is easily one of Mould's greatest songs from before or after this album. Workbook is ideal Autumn, Winter music, just the right side of MOR- though I don't know how fans expect artists to freeze on Land Speed Record, New Day Rising or Candy Apple Grey. Mould would shift from this record to the epic rock of Black Sheets of Rain (much more a downer & the album Ragged Glory should have been!), prior to the poppy-Du of Sugar. The Virgin/Solo years are looked over, which is a shame- one final piece of advice: buy both Workbook & Black Sheets...rather than the Poison Years compilation (though you might want that for the storming cover of Shoot Out the Lights...)...just buy the lot!
|3||Heartbreak A Stranger|
|4||See A Little Light|
|6||Sinners And Their Repentances|
|7||Brasilia Crossed With Trenton|
|8||Compositions For The Young And Old|
|10||Dreaming I Am Whichever Way The Wind Blows|
- Bob Mould - Workbook (1989) Retail CD
- 946 x 939 px
- 190 KB
- 389 (0 today)
- 09/04/07 by allcdcovers
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