Come Pick Me Up

Come Pick Me Up

by Superchunk
     
 

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In 1990, North Carolina's Superchunk released "Slack Motherfucker," a pogo-punk kiss off to a bust-ass bossman that became a "Summertime Blues" for the slacker-rock '90s. Had they stopped there, this fearsome foursome would have been post-grad, post-punk legends, but they were just getting started. Nine years later, lead guy Mac McCaughan has matured into a crafter of

Overview

In 1990, North Carolina's Superchunk released "Slack Motherfucker," a pogo-punk kiss off to a bust-ass bossman that became a "Summertime Blues" for the slacker-rock '90s. Had they stopped there, this fearsome foursome would have been post-grad, post-punk legends, but they were just getting started. Nine years later, lead guy Mac McCaughan has matured into a crafter of intelligent rockers and gentle, mature slow tunes, often written in the idiom of great New Zealand pop bands like the Chills and the Bats. Songs like "So Convinced" and "Hello, Hawk" don't feature raved-up tempos and adrenaline hooks so much as strong, taut melodies. Rarely does anything get as kicky as the beauteous sugar rush "Good Dreams," and that's just fine. Post-rock production guru Jim O'Rourke's tastefully decorous additions of sax, cellos, and violins leaven what are often grown-up, homey sentiments about life and love in early middle-age. If that mean old bossman could only see them now

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
It is an objective fact that Superchunk have never made a bad album, but after the early one-two punch of No Pocky for Kitty (1991) and On the Mouth (1993), the band often seemed to be looking for something different to do with their aggressive but emotional sound without always finding it, especially on the harrowing breakup album Foolish (1994) and the energetic but emotionally spent Here's Where the Strings Come In (1995). Bringing in horn charts and orchestration might have seemed like a strange new path for a group that thrived on simple but galvanized guitar bashing, but 1999's Come Pick Me Up proved an inspired stylistic detour for Superchunk. Working with producer Jim O'Rourke, who brought in horns, string sections, and keyboards for many of the tracks, as well as giving the recordings a less dense and more open sound, Superchunk seemed more comfortable exploring the pop side of their formula than their amped-up punk rock attack, and the result was an album that still decisively rocked but honored the intelligence of Superchunk's melodies in a new and refreshing way. If the smooth string breaks on "Hello Hawk" or "1000 Pounds" seem surprising on first listen, the yin and yang of orchestral instruments vs. rock & roll guitars proves quite satisfying as the album wears on, and when Mac McCaughan wears his heart on his sleeve on "June Showers," "Pulled Muscle," or "You Can Count on Me (In the Worst Way)," the added musical textures (as well as the more carefully executed harmonies) work wonders. (It also helps that O'Rourke's arrangements are intelligent and punctuate the melodies without smothering them.) Come Pick Me Up is more artful and layered than most of Superchunk's recorded work, but it's still clearly their work, with their aural signatures in plain sight, and it's an experiment that works remarkably well, showing this band can mess with their formula and still sound strong and in command.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/10/1999
Label:
Merge Records
UPC:
0036172946327
catalogNumber:
29463

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Superchunk   Primary Artist
Fred Lonberg-Holm   Cello
Jim O'Rourke   Guitar,Recorder,Vocals
Bob Weston   Trumpet
Ken Vandermark   Saxophone
Jeb Bishop   Trombone
Mac McCaughan   Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals
Laura Ballance   Bass,Vocals
Jon Wurster   Percussion,Drums,Vocals
Chris Manfrin   Hand Clapping
Jim Wilbur   Guitar,Vocals
Suzanne Roberts   Violin

Technical Credits

Jim O'Rourke   Producer,Engineer
John O'Rourke   Producer,Engineer
Mac McCaughan   Producer
Laura Ballance   Producer,Cover Painting
Jon Wurster   Producer
Jim Wilbur   Producer

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