Nothing Lasts Forever (Teenage Fanclub) – music review

You have to wonder if anyone thought about the possibility that they might be wearing the band name Teenage Fanclub still, over thirty years later, while the principal members were getting close to 60? Whether they were expecting to be a flash in the pan, or were in it for the long haul, long gone are the noisy electric guitars and the power pop energy that won the band so many fans to their 1991 alt-rock classic, Bandwagonesque.

Drawing comparisons to Big Star and other 60’s pop/rock innovators the band followed Del Amitri, an earlier band from Glasgow, Scotland, and in recent years have returned to some of the seminal folk-rock sounds of bands like The Byrds, Badfinger, and the earlier work of The Beatles. The band’s 12th studio album, Nothing Lasts Forever tends toward the ruminating folk rock of the 60’s, as if paying homage to the melodies, harmonies, and cultural relevance of that era.

The album opens with its strongest power pop effort, “Foreign Land,” but several others, “Tired of Living Alone,” “Falling Into The Sun,” and “It’s Alright” lean toward those golden pop rock sounds with stately harmonic lead vocals, just enough electric guitar to break through and the last one’s expressed desire to “step into the mystery.” All very groovy. Three tracks make references to the hopeful image of light overcoming the darkness, “Back to the Light,” See the Light,” and “I Left the Light On,” suggesting the desire to see better days on the horizon. Musically, the band has taken us back to an era when the world seemed to be alive with possibilities.

It’s hard to imagine a more retro sounding album in 2023 than Nothing Lasts Forever, with all the acoustic guitars, simple piano additions, the vocal harmonies and compact song structure very at home alongside the music of The Mamas & The Papas, The Byrds, and The Association.

Brian Q. Newcomb
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