# 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

Insta - Checklist For Love

  by Gary Wollen

published: 22 / 6 / 2002

Insta - Checklist For Love
Label: Sunday
Format: CD


Deceptive summer pop from Chicago-based duo,which grows with each new listening

Ian Brown, the legendary frontman from the Stone Roses, once gave me two pieces of advice. First don’t make rash judgements on issues that you have time to deliberate on, and secondly NEVER ever namedrop. Well, I suppose I learnt from one of those nuggets of wisdom. You see dear reader what I’m trying to say is that initially I really disliked this release to the point where I had already consulted libel lawyers in preparation for this review. I was stuck at first base on singer Catherine Cooper 'Stars in Your Ryes' Cerys Matthews style of delivery and intonation. Once stuck there my mind laboured over various lazy journalistic type bile and recriminations. For example I had already earmarked the sub-literate comparison for this album as Cerys fronting The Smiths and a stream of literary slurs that would follow at high speed to package this release within the confines of my blinkered ears (if that’s not mixing metaphors and I think it is). I decided wisely to leave the CD for a week or so then reappraise the situation and what can I say except I was wrong. On re-listening I discovered that this caterpillar with a hundred wooden legs had grown the most delightful wings and had learnt to flutter and grow from all that I had imagined it to be. The way the first track 'Leaving with So Little Said' segues into 'Thumbstack' is as seamless as the way in which a verse rolls into a chorus on many other songs. 'Thumbstack' is as bright and sunny as an English summer is not. I think what appeals to me now, is the jangly guitar with permeates every song (always a weakness of mine). The simple production on earlier listens hadn’t bolstered the lead vocal (which isn’t, I hasten to add, instantly accessible but a long slow burner), and gives the melody atmosphere and the space to breathe. The album as a whole conjures up a feeling not dissimilar to Birdie or Heavenly, but in essence only. To write this off as a mere slipstream album would, I feel, do the band an injustice. From reading the sleevenotes I noticed that 'Checklist For Love' was recorded over the last four years yet it doesn’t suffer from a fragmented feeling or sound as do other albums recorded over such a period (i. e 'Second Coming' by the aforementioned The Stone Roses). It effectively achieves a coherent whole and demonstrates a long-term conviction for what must have been a laborious and I’m sure at times, frustratingly taxing exercise before Insta finally glimpsed their collective realised vision. Okay so it’s not a classic. I won’t be selling my granny to get a copy just yet, but in this long “hot” summer with very few releases you could do a lot worse than this poppy summer album. One word of advice…. Just give it time.

Track Listing:-
1 Leaving With So Little Said
2 Thumbtack
3 Suddenly
4 Mexico Sometimes
5 Eyelash
6 A Time For Tears
7 Pepes Wish
8 So Far Away
9 The Pastry Hero
10 You Can't Hide Everything
11 Brittle

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