By Al Kaufman
A shade over 20 years ago, when everyone else in Seattle was donned in flannel and singing about slitting their wrists, The Posies released Dear 23, and, for some people in Seattle, the rain stopped, the clouds lifted, and the coffee tasted a little less bitter. The few other lucky people in the world who heard the band also remembered that it is okay for music to make one feel happy.
Since then, this on-again, off-again band has released six more albums, all filled with varieties of pop goodness. They’ve grown a bit darker over the years, peaking with 2005’s Every Kind of Light, in which songwriters Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow took on the Bush administration and the Iraq War.
Blood/Candy is not a return to form for the band as much as it is a culmination of all they have learned through the years. The disc has more than its share of classic pop in the vein of Squeeze or Crowded House. But check out “Accidental Architecture,” which can best be described as a jazzy, noirish Broadway tune with a dash of Paul McCartney thrown in for good measure. It’s a mood piece that moves. “For the Ashes” incorporates a touch of psychedelia that worked so well for the Beatles on Rubber Soul. The Stranglers’ Hugh Cornwell adds some grit to “Plastic Paperbacks,” and “Licenses to Hide” is infused with some Freddie Mercury theatrics, once it gets going.
“She’s Coming Down Again!” stands above all the others though. A song about a girl who dies of a drug overdose, it is told over a bright and cheery melody and manages to be neither slight, over-dramatic, nor self-righteous. It just feels real. Like many of the best Posies songs, it sounds like candy at first listen, but is as meaty as a Philly cheese steak sub.
You can still get free tickets to The Posies show if you are 21+ by following the instructions in this post HERE.