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Wednesday Week

What We Had

(Critics Choice; US: 29 Jan 2008; UK: Available as import)

The Beatles may have wanted to hold you 8 days a week, but this band tried to cram everything in one day. Led by sisters Kristi and Kelly Callan on vocals, guitar, and drums, this indie rock group from the ‘80s sang and played hard and fast pop tunes with a rough edge. No one would mistake these women for The Bangles or the Go Gos. There’s nothing self-consciously retro here. Instead, the group was of the moment. This reissue of 1987’s Don Dixon produced album, with added bonuses of 1983’s EP Betsy’s House and 5 previously unreleased tracks from the band’s archives, brings back the golden heyday of alternative music before it was branded and commercialized by the major labels. The group’s youth oozes out its earnestness with songs about boyfriends and parents in a rocking and refreshing way on songs like “Feel So Small”, “Boy (You Got me Good)”, and “I Hate Lying to Mom”. Music like this doesn’t date as much as it matches the mood of a certain period of one’s life. The entrance into adulthood sounds sweet, painful, and promising all at the same time on this disc.

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Steven Horowitz has a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Iowa, where he continues to teach a three-credit online course on "Rock and Roll in America". He has written for many different popular and academic publications including American Music, Paste and the Icon. Horowitz is a firm believer in Paul Goodman's neofunctional perspective on culture and that Sam Cooke was right, a change is gonna come.


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