new Churhcills Review
Posted by: Hari ()
Date: October 13, 2000 05:15AM



Can't beat this! Feature review at http://powerpop.org/shakeitup/


The Churchills

You Are Here - (Abrupt/Universal)

I'm sure I'm not the only one that has been waiting for this one. What I ended up getting, though,
exceeded my already high expectations.

This could very well be the finest CD of the year.

The Churchills made an outstanding debut a few years ago with their Magnifique 300 CD, full of
strong songcraft and inspired arrangements, but You Are Here is another matter entirely. Somehow,
The Churchills found a way to get even better on all counts and have let loose on You Are Here -
creating a pop CD that's confident, evocative, and fun, too.

The Churchills lay down the foundation with adding their solid sense of melody onto what are
exceptionally strong songs, creating the kind of music that stays with you long afterwards - even after
your first listen. In fact, you may find yourself having a hard time getting past the opening Beautiful
(Coulda Woulda) with it's hypnotic chords and guitarist Ron Haney's great vocal. If you do, though,
you'll be rewarded right away with Ex #1 Fan, a soaring indictment of rock and roll pretension where
Haney continues to be passionate within an overall stellar vocal arrangement.

The Churchills "toughen-up" their sound on a number of tracks here, most notably on guitarist/vocalist
Kim Henry's dynamic Headstrong (where she impressively steps up to the vocal spotlight) and the
driving Mysticated Girl with its fierce chorus. In sharp contrast, Cold As Steel finds the band equally
comfortable within a more delicate and softer pop setting, while bassist Bart Schoudel contributes the
most experimental moment by contributing the beautiful Cars - which perfectly marries a lovely melody
and vocal to a waltz.

On the more pure pop front, the crowning achievements are Running In Circles (a Haney/Henry duet),
The Wrong Side Of Bed (with a chorus that will have you singing along in no time) and a re-working of
Everybody Gets What They Deserve. This one appeared on Magnifique 300 as one of it's more
memorable moments, but gets a significant re-working here. Yes, it's better.

Throughout all of You Are Here, The Churchills exploit their musicianship in such a way that keeps the
songs front and centre. Both Haney and Henry exhibit exceptional playing, whether delicate or
super-charged, and Schoudel and drummer Phil Bloom make for one of the better rhythm sections
around - whether pounding out on the hook-filled Gonna Take A Lot To Stay or adding to the delicate
charge of Disposable. In a celebratory style, the band meshes together to perfection on Maybe Make
Me Okay (the one other re-working from Magnifique 300), everybody settling into a groove that closes
You Are Here in style.

Calling You Are Here the remarkable achievement that it is...is an understatement to say the least.

Play on.

(* * * * * out of 5)

Claudio Sossi



SubjectViewsWritten ByPosted
new Churhcills Review112 Hari 10/13/2000 05:15AM


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