Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Album Review: The Go-Betweens – Bright Yellow, Bright Orange

2003’s Bright Yellow, Bright Orange was the second album in the second incarnation of the Go-Betweens. It’s probably the weakest of the three, with some of the songs sounding underwritten.

Nevertheless, Caroline and I is a great opener, with Robert Forster playing a summery track that could have come straight from Lou Reed’s Coney Island Baby. In fact, the influence of Lou Reed/Velvet Underground also impacts on Grant McLennan’s Mrs Morgan, which borrows part of the Sweet Jane riff over a lovely yearning chorus (“she never wanted, she never wanted to see the rain”) while guitars jangle and backing vocals coo.

Robert Forster has a couple of decent songs here, the acoustic Hunky Dory-esque In Her Diary has a beautiful string arrangement and the self-referential Something for Myself (“want to get out of folk and get into rare groove”). However his Too Much of One Thing was a chore to listen to when it came out the first time as Bob Dylan’s Lily, Rosemary & the Jack of Hearts (it’s a dead ringer for this song). McLennan’s Poison in the Walls and Crooked Lines are blissfully pleasant without being very engaging, Mexico has an annoying keyboard sound going through it and Unfinished Business sounds like its title, unfinished.

It’s the least essential of the ‘comeback’ albums, but the better songs are worth investigating.