Spooky by Lush (Review)

Lush always focused more on the pop’ side of the dreampop’ equation.
Spooky - Lush

Lush hailed from the same musical tree that brought us groups like Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine, and Cocteau Twins. And Spooky was released on 4AD, the king of all dreamy labels. However, Lush always focused more on the “pop” side of the “dreampop” equation. Even though Spooky is bathed in shimmering cascades of guitar, thanks in part to the production of Robin Guthrie (Cocteau Twins), great pop songs are always just below the surface.

The vocal harmonies of Emma Anderson and Miki Berenjyi certainly don’t hurt. At times, they practically threaten to float away on the wings of their own weightlessness. But at other times, they practically drip with desire and eroticism. Unlike some dreampop groups, where the vocals almost sounded androgynous as a byproduct of their dreaminess, Lush is decidedly feminine.

Check out the Stereolab-esque “For Love” or “Untogether” — which features one of the catchiest choruses one could imagine for a spiteful song about an ex-lover — for a lesson on how vocal harmonies should be done. And songs like “Superblast!” just flat out rock, standing firmly between the airy textures of Victorialand-era Cocteau Twins and the solid pop of The Breeders.

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