Under Appreciated Pop Rock Great
The All Music Guide calls Trip Shakespeare’s vocal abilities simply, “unreal.” Lulu, the band’s (almost) last release, was a pop/rock fun fest brimming with unexpected harmonies, sharp story lines and a willingness to try anything out of the ordinary. On first spin, Trip’s jumbled song stylings make for a confounding experience. Closer examination, however, shows just how subversively witty these guys (and gal) really were. All four were capable of fronting the group (and do), which added a seemingly endless array of harmonic, compositional and performance possibilities. And, they seem to have fun mixing & matching those talents. I was first drawn to the live reprises and feedback outros but grew to appreciate the crisp production that left no part buried. When you can hear what each player is actually doing, seemingly live in the studio, Lulu‘s magic really begins. That it all wouldn’t last is probably no surprise. Dan Wilson and John Munson went on to form the radio-friendly Semisonic. But, Lulu survives… and it’s an album that, once embraced, will always find some stereo time. Imagine the outtakes. This one gets my vote for the Deluxe treatment. Lulu is out of print, but you can still find cheap ones at Amazon.
“None Of The Regular Rules Were True…”
Will You Be Found?
Down My Block
Jill Can Drive
Look At The Moon
Today You Move
“…Down The Dusty Road”
If You Miss Me
Shakespeare’s Crib Sheet
The follow up to Lulu was an obscure, six song EP of nothing but cover versions of band favorites. Trip Shakespeare takes on Nick Lowe, Thunderclap Newman, Big Star, The Zombies, Husker Du & Neil Young. Amazon.
(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding? (3:36) (Lowe)
Something In The Air (3:26) (Keen)
The Ballad Of El Goodo (4:28) (Bell/Chilton)
Time Of The Season (3:42) (Argent)
Dead Set On Destruction (2:36) (Hart)
Helpless (4:37) (Young)