Label: Ryko Release date: 28/09/10 Link: Official Site Buy/Stream: Amazon/Spotify Blood/Candy is the 7th album from this widely experienced and prolific The Posies. Originating from Washington State (which can boast musical pedigree of the likes of Nirvana) and now into their early forties, The Posies have been around the scene for a while now and Blood/Candy represents a direction that is more sophisticated but just as energetic as some of the newer, more youthful bands around. Many will dismiss this album, The Posies’ first in five years, as simply the egotistical efforts of an ageing power pop band that were perhaps at their best years ago and are no longer relevant, but this is an album packed full of intricate melodies and foot-tapping rhythms that represents a subtle but important transformation of sound for the Seattle-based band. Particular highlights are ‘Glitter Prize’, with its chugging bassline that drives the song forward, ‘Plastic Paperbacks’, ‘She’s Coming Down’ and ‘Cleopatra Street’, which begins with softly muted guitars and builds up before exploding into an epic finish. There is even a tinge of Frank Turner about ‘So Caroline’ that echoes the bands evolution into maturity and sophistication. There are some very ordinary tracks as well, as there are on most albums, but they are generally over-shadowed by the quality of the rest. Nothing about this album is particularly revolutionary – the band sticks to a surprisingly conservative combination of pianos and acoustic guitars. Indeed, it could be argued that the sound of Blood/Candy is one that has been reproduced all over the radio waves throughout the UK for the last few years, with mainstream contemporaries including Cold War Kids. However, what The Posies have done brilliantly is to make this album fresh but yet very well written. The lyrics, often ignored in most modern music as a simple background to the main show, are sung with heart-felt conviction, and the Auer-Stringfellow combination provides just enough to add layers and depth to songs without being over-bearing. There is also an excellent selection of guest vocalists, with Kay Hanley of Letters To Cleo fame proving the pick of the bunch that really add an extra dimension to the sound. Overall this is best summed up as a grown-up album by a grown-up band, displaying a mature evolution away from the bar-chord sound of the ‘Flavor of the Month’ days. Blood/Candy is a triumph of careful and thoughtful song-writing between a tried and trusted formula, and has one final fantastic quality to it – it’s ridiculously catchy. Photobucket