Husker Du’s second double album, released in 1987 was never going to be a bloated affair with 20 songs zipping by in 69 minutes. On first listen, all the elements are present and correct, Bob Mould’s furious guitars, Grant Hart’s distinctive drumming… but what’s that… 80s era keyboards on Charity, Chastity, Prudence and Hope and also Turn It Around?!
Mould’s bludgeoning guitars on the likes of Standing In The Rain, Ice Cold Ice, Could You Be The One? and Bed of Nails are a distinctive improvement. On the other hand, Hart’s songs are a little weaker than Mould’s, particularly Back From Somewhere and the uninspired boogie of Actual Condition, though Too Much Spice makes a good recovery.
The midtempo guitar sprawl of It’s Not Peculiar hits a little harder than most of the tracks here, pointing towards Sugar/Mould’s solo material, as does No Reservations. Later, the melodic Up In The Air shows the influence of REM, particularly the backing vocals.
However nothing hits quite as hard as previous Husker Du albums, rendering this album as something of a disappointment after Flip Your Wig and Candy Apple Grey.