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Merge reissue The Clientele’s debut LP on 180g LP complete with a bonus discs worth of covers, b-sides and demos. I’m new to the album but it’s a Clinton favourite and on first spin I really enjoyed it. Sits somewhere between The Velvet Underground stuck in ‘Candy Says’ mode and the most tender offerings from the Yo La Tengo camp. The bonus disc is a particularly worthy listen.
10/10 Andy L Customer review, 5th January 2015
Not to be a downer but, in The Clientele's world, it never stops bloody raining. If it isn't that the "stars are falling on this night like rain", then "butterflies with gilded wings this morning / touched the red sun and the rain". Or maybe Alastair McClean's "been driving in my car / on Sunday in the rain". Well, not my car, his - I haven't got one as it happens, and he's never actually asked to borrow it, non-existant as it is. But you get the picture: it's raining in "Suburban Light" world, it's veritably pissing it down.
Which makes it surprising that this is such an elegant, uplifting record, a sleepy masterpiece that I've probably listened to more than anything else this year. From the delightful arpeggio that opens "I Had To Say This" to the woozy tremolo at the end of 'Lacewings', the band barely put a foot wrong, creating an atmosphere of daydreams and neon, autumn walks and meetings by streetlight, supplemented by McClean's demo-like vocals, at once gently mellifluous and harshly lo-fi.
I find it hard to single out favourites, though "(I Want You) More Than Ever" is one of the purest, most uplifting pieces of pop music I've ever heard. But then again, so is 'An Hour Before the Light'. And "Reflections After Jane". And half a dozen others. So you see my problem here. And to top it off, this swanky reissue brings back it's original (far superior) cover and adds ten extra tracks on a bonus CD, as well as a lossless download of the whole bundle. So perfection has now been improved upon. Rejoice!
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- Suburban Light by The Clientele
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