# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Lush - Ciao! - The Best of Lush

  by David McNamee

published: 17 / 12 / 2001

Lush - Ciao! - The Best of Lush
Label: 4AD
Format: CD


The band that Britpop forgot. It’s taken nearly five years for 4AD to drive the accustomed ‘best of’ tombstone into the grave of Lush. Conceived amidst the late eighties confusion (somewhere between J

The band that Britpop forgot. It’s taken nearly five years for 4AD to drive the accustomed ‘best of’ tombstone into the grave of Lush. Conceived amidst the late eighties confusion (somewhere between Jesus and Mary Chain discovering British narcotic pop and riot grrl eating up the rulebooks) of the London indie scene, and the product of a partnership between two teen punk girl fanzine writers, frontwomen Miki Berenyi and Emma Anderson, Lush released but three proper albums before their break-up over the suicide of drummer Chris Ackland in 1997 drove any potential legacy into the ground forever. This belated compilation now reads as something of an afterthought, which, if one is honest about these things, is kind’ve what Lush always were. Neither original enough to be groundbreaking, nor as stagnant as to simply slip away into the night, they leave a sort of sad impression on the memory. This album is a tribute to would-be heroes and the bands we loved but who never quite made it. From Huggy Bear to Kenickie, Ride to Orlando – last rites were never quite so embittered. A debut album, ‘Spooky’, coaxed out of gestation by labelmate Robin Guthrie, introduced Lush’s naïve yet fiery femme-punk to wraithlike melodies and subtle shifting pop undertones. But it was the haunting and deeply personal still-life lyrical portraits of ‘Split’ in 1994 that grabbed attention. While the spiky, sussed - but above all - unbearably sad likes of ‘Hypocrite’ confirmed Berenyi and Anderson’s appetite for melody and drive, it was the swollen, hymnal apparitions of ‘Love At First Sight’ and ‘Light From A Dead Star’ that finally exposed the pulsing, gleaming ambition nestled in the Lush chrysalis. Mike Hedges’ atmosphere-drenched production strangled those post-riot grrl dynamics into breathtaking new forms. ‘Desire Lines’ in particular is just heartstopping, a five star indie classic up there with ‘Birthday’ by The Sugarcubes and Suede’s ‘The Wild Ones’. And while it might be inexpedient to use words like ‘epiphanic’, in 1994 Lush were practically bleeding silk. The ‘Lovelife’ album in 96 was swept in on the backwash of Oasis vs. Blur and the indie chart renaissance (for want of a better term). It was never meant to be their swansong, but inter-band friction and Miki and Emma’s respective songwriting, which had always clashed colourfully but was now starting to grate as their relationship deteriorated, hinted at a band struggling to tread water. A very hip and we-knew-him-before-he-was-famous collaboration with Jarvis Cocker failed to boost the cool-o-meter and despite a TOTP rendition of the new-man baiting ‘Ladykillers’ (catchy, infuriatingly so, but with a sort of watered down quasi-venom at odds with their punky beginnings) and ‘500 (Shake, Baby, Shake)’ soundtracking about a million adverts, the Lush profile remained that of the token indie band. The new songs shimmied, they shook, they fell flat on their face. Listening back to these songs now, just a few years on, you have to wonder what a music scene today anchored by white male angst and acoustic sing-song mediocrity would make of a band like Lush. They were never The Pixies, they weren’t even quite the Cocteau Twins, but they belonged utterly to their time. This compilation composes a sweet, sad snapshot of a band inextricably woven into an unheroic history. It was just as well they wrote some beautiful songs.

Track Listing:-
1 Ladykillers
2 Single Girl
3 Ciao!
4 500 (Shake Baby Shake)
5 Light From A Dead Star
6 Love At First Sight
7 Hypocrite
8 Desire Lines
9 Lovelife
10 When I Die
11 Nothing Natural
12 Untogether
13 For Love
14 Monochrome
15 De-luxe
16 Sweetness And Light
17 Thoughtforms
18 Etheriel

Band Links:-

Label Links:-

Post A Comment

your name
ie London, UK
Check box to submit

Pennyblackmusic Regular Contributors