Better Can't Make Your
from CMJ, November 1996
The music of Lilys has gone through an inversion since last year's Eccsame The Photon Band. Melodies once buried deep inside loosely structured excursions are now the structure itself. Gone are the sprawling sheets of guitar, and in their place is neatness and brevity. Actually, this transformation is pretty shocking; only the bands name is the same. As in the past, though, its kin are British, but those of a few decades ago rather than a few years. The Lilys of 1996 draw inspiration from the invasion sound of the 60's, when song was everything, and the more precise the melody the better. The songs on Better Can't Make Your Life Better roll along, short and thick with organs, maracas, rollercoaster harmonies, "shoop shoop" and "la la la" backups, and a certain ache in leader Kurt Healey's more prominant voice. The melodies hit with similar pinpoint accuracy, but have a sandy texture that Ray Davies wouldn't have tolerated in 1967. Total makeovers often signify flakiness or trend-chasing, and the more skeptical listener will toss this aside as that. But if Better is approached on its own terms, without the baggage of the bands history, the album can be heard as an inspired change of direction, and a worthy step toward something more concrete.-Randall Roberts
Datalog: released October 1, 1996.....
File Under: reworked mod pop.....
Recomended if you Like: The Kinks, early Rolling Stones
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