Stand Out Albums has been a showcase for my favorite albums across the vast performers that I love. Covering a little bit of everything from classic rock to country hits, much like Key Movies of My Life, it has been the albums that shaped me. This year, I am taking a slightly different approach by discussing the discographies of my favorite musicians, album by album, in release order.
Last week we launched my review series about one of my all time favorite bands, The Posies. This week we take a look at their second release and the first Album of theirs that I owned. The album, Dear 23.
Before we start, I have to thank The Posies themselves for sharing last weeks review of Failure. It’s things like that that make me appreciate those guys even more than I already do. So, Ken, Jon, or whoever it is that runs your social media, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are the best!
Why This Album?
Well, I’ve kinda already said the ‘why’ part above but to reiterate, this was indeed my very first Posies album in my collection. Having heard the track Open Every Window on CD, I went to the local Camelot music to see what they had on hand. I could only afford one at the time so I had to choose between this one and their 1993 release Frosting on the Beater. Since I couldn’t get their first album, which I did place an order for that day, I picked up their second album and immediately went home to give it a spin.
To say I was immediately hooked is an understatement. This album spoke to me in my 90’s grunge laden teenage angst that had been fed by Nirvana and Soundgarden, and took it to a more melodic and understanding place. In a way, I woke up and found a sound that just, to use a played out phrase, literally hit all the right notes. Every track on this album is pure bliss, If you think that Failure is a perfect album, Dear 23 takes that base and builds on it in a way that almost feels as if there was a sudden evolution between releases. Most sophomore albums are experimental to their detriment, but this one just manages to enhance all of the already incredible talent by adding even more layers to Jon and Ken’s tremendous harmonies.
Adding in Drummer Mike Musburger and bassist Arthur Roberts, this is the Posies as a full band for the first time and it shows. Jon and Ken were already a true talent, but adding musicians to the band allowed them to go deeper into their music creating some of my favorite songs from their catalogue. From the opening track My Big Mouth to the magical Flood of Sunshine closing it out, the best way to describe Dear 23 is Ethereal. Sure, the theme of heartbreak and angst is still prevalent but in a way it is even more softened than before making each track a masterpiece of it’s own accord. There is a wistful almost magical quality to the sound that mutes the harder sounds and blends them to create a powerful yet relaxing tone through and through. The beauty is, this was still only the beginning of this incredible band.
Suddenly Mary. This one is not just about rough relationships but also recognizing being in one. To say this particular song got me through some tough times would not be a lie. With lines like ‘She had convinced me that I was a failure. I burned all my clothing and found a new tailor’, this one really spoke to me. As I have made mention before, thankfully those days are behind me but boy was this song topical. While it does stir some rather rough memories, it is till one of my favorites.
Golden Blunders is an interesting track and happens to be one of the first Posies songs I had heard, only I didn’t know it was by them since it was being sung by none other than Former Beatle, Ringo Starr. At some point I had begun searching for the solo works of the Beatles and that of course included drummer Ringo Starr. In 1992, I found a copy of his album Time Takes Time and gave it a listen where Golden Blunders happened to be on it. Thinking it had a certain Beatles feel to it I found it my favorite of that album, only to later discover that it was actually a Posies Original. Talk about a crazy connection between fandoms.
Flood of Sunshine opens with an incredible keyboard track that flourishes into one of my all-time favorites of The Posies. Every time I hear it, this one just puts a smile on my face as I sit back in my chair and let the sound wash over me. With an almost magical feel to both the music and the lyrics, this track feels like a dream set to music. It’s tremendous and a perfect end to such a satisfying album.
Ok, Where do I get it?
For some reason this one is a little harder to find these days but I found it on discogs for you. you can also currently listen to it on Spotify. If you do happen across a copy, grab it, it is well worth your time.
Next week, we discuss the album that is recognized by most as their very best work, the album, Frosting on the Beater. Till then!
Late to the Game 5/18/2021
Thanks for reading, If you would like to read more reviews I have a weekly series called Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday and also check out some retro tv goodness with the ongoing series Retro TV Reviews here. You can also find a few of my other Music Reviews Here.
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One thought on “Stand Out Albums: The Posies ‘Dear 23’ (1990)”
This was my second Posies album. I’d seen them on tour in the U.K. as support for Teenage Fanclub. I rushed out the next day and bought Frosting On The Beater. Still my favourite band, many albums and gigs later!
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