It’s been 18 years since the wheels came off the unsteady dream pop
wagon that had spawned an album a year since 1992.
from Robin Guthrie and Billy Corgan, Medicine split after 1995’s decidedly average ‘Her Highness’.
2013, however, sees them join perhaps their closest antecedent, My Bloody Valentine, in a shoegaze revival and,Medicine
like MBV, ‘To The Happy Few’ is much more than a paint by numbers coda.
Unpeel its layers of distortion pedals and whispered vocals and it offers up a suite of irresistible pop hooks.
Highlights include ‘It’s Not Enough’, with its pounding snares and bruising, fuzz guitars, the psychedelic duet ‘The End Of The Line’ and the syncopated grooves of ‘Find Me Always’.
‘To The Happy Few’ soars; it just does so with subtlety.
‘Don’t Give Up’, for example, takes disco, turns the RPM down a
notch, and manages to retain its muscle, while ‘All I Know’ is a
dazzling synth anthem that’s just waiting to blow up.
Everything feels deliberate and, even at 6.33, the title
track doesn’t feel overwrought.
Indeed, it takes skill to stay within the boundaries of taste when you’re
playing with swirling harps but Greene manages to pull it off.
While the overall sound hasn’t changed dramatically, this is a more than
worthy follow -up to an excellent debut.
As the Cocteau Twins jangle of ‘All Over Now’ fades out, you
feel that ‘Paracosm’ will be the leftfield soundtrack of the summer.
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