Label: Slumberland Release date: 26/04/09 Link: MySpace Music and lyrics – the two parts that make up 90% of songs today. Some people (like Robert Christgau) only listen to one, or at least it seems, others take both in at once, and some miss it all and make it background noise. The cavernous pop rattling of classic twee band Black Tambourine make everything blend together into a beautiful mélange that has been a huge influence for the entire movement. In fact, this Definitive Collection shows why they’re so notable and a lasting force despite a tragically miniscule amount of recordings. Being a self-confessed completist, I jump at the chance to get a new version of something classic. Sure there have been a few other releases that have all the recorded output of the jangly goodness that is Black Tambourine, just as there have been versions collecting The Vaselines or The Slits, or any other ‘80s band that managed to make rock a new genre. Every song from their career is here, as are a few demos and even more songs that were left out of the Complete Recordings disc issued way back in ’99. If nothing else, this collection (and the remaster – or at least it sounds like a small quality upgrade) finally lets the band get their overdue time. Sure the best release would be a huge seven disc set with recordings from Orange Juice and select Jesus & Mary Chain songs, a few mid-period My Bloody Valentine tracks, and a long needed 14 Iced Bears complete discography, but having everything from Black Tambourine alone is enough to keep me (and fellow fans) happy for at least another 11 years. Back to those two important components: music and lyrics. Listen to a song like ‘Black Car.’ “I want you…I’ll touch you…” is gently intoned over guitars so crunchy they almost bury the vocals in their own reverb bus, but instead of downplaying one aspect too much, everything is balanced and presented beautifully – it’s something that bands have been trying to do for decades. Who would have thought that the band to get it so right would only make sixteen songs? Now excuse me, I’m going to listen to Math & Physics Club and imagine they have Big Muff pedals. Photobucket