For the past few years, British indie rock has been dominated by bands known as shoegazers (because they're shy onstage), purveying a style of music termed dream pop (because of its rapturous noise). While not a pioneer like My Bloody Valentine or A.R. Kane, Lush is one of the best bands from dream pop's second wave. Its noise is almost entirely guitar generated, but Lush isn't exactly a rock & roll experience. Instead of riffs, the effects-laden guitars exude a billowing haze that mingles with Miki Berenyi and Emma Anderson's pallid harmonies.... Read More
On "Nothing Natural," only the surging, faintly ominous bass line guides you through the blizzard of sound, while "Superblast!" is a giddy rush of iridescent textures. Lush also excels at gentler songs, like "Covert" and "Monochrome," that fill the mind's eye with halcyon imagery.
At times, the loveliness of it all gets wearying. At its worst, Lush can be criminally insipid, as on twee lullabies like "For Love" and "Untogether." Another problem is that Lush is too enigmatic for its own good. Berenyi's demurely forlorn vocals are more just another pretty thread in the aural tapestry than an emotive force. When decipherable, the oblique lyrics hint at mild angst or blissful disorientation. You can find yourself longing for the group to smash through the lustrous sheen of its sound (which owes a lot to producer Robin Guthrie of the Cocteau Twins) with some kind of explicit emotion. In Britain, Spooky saw the members of Lush transformed almost overnight from press darlings into pariahs; critics decreed that the dream popsters were too wispy and winsome to be relevant in the post-Nirvana order. While that's an overly harsh verdict for an album that offers much delight, it's probably true that Lush does need to open up and bleed. (RS 628)