Christine Taylor/Courtesy of the artist
It's nice to hear a new Posies song sparkle as brightly as "So Caroline," an utterly winning three minutes of love and devotion.
It's nice to hear a new Posies song sparkle as brightly as "So Caroline," an utterly winning three minutes of love and devotion. Christine Taylor/Courtesy of the artist
Song: "So Caroline"
Artist: The Posies
The early 1990s brought about a power-pop renaissance that looked like a budding juggernaut: Any of a handful of wonderful albums — Matthew Sweet's Girlfriend, Jellyfish's Bellybutton, The Greenberry Woods' Rapple Dapple — might have been as big as Nirvana's Nevermind had a few variables broken differently. Among the best and most commercially successful was The Posies' appropriately sugary Frosting on the Beater, which spawned a few MTV hits ("Solar Sister," "Dream All Day") with a sunny and timeless power-pop sound.
Sadly, that 1993 gem would mark The Posies' commercial zenith: Subsequent albums reached smaller audiences, the band endured a lengthy hiatus, and songwriters Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow released solo records (with the latter becoming a touring member of R.E.M.) when they weren't moonlighting in the occasional incarnation of Big Star. So it's nice to see The Posies return to recording and touring as a unit, but it's even nicer to hear a new Posies song sparkle as brightly as "So Caroline," an utterly winning three minutes of love and devotion.
A playfully witty, almost impossibly infectious love song, "So Caroline" is best summed up by a sweet line about midway through: "With friends like you, who needs anyone else?" Auer's almost imperceptible pause between "any" and "one" is a cute bait-and-switch, as a threatened kiss-off — "Who needs enemies?" — becomes a moment of generous, good-naturedly hard-charging kindness. Who needs anything else?