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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Fuel -- Sunburn

 photo SunburnCover_zps89ebefdc.jpg

I can't tell you when I first heard that song. It might have been during warm-ups before a basketball game. It might have been in a videogame. It might have just been on a car radio. Whatever the case, Fuel's "Shimmer" was an oasis in a desert of really awful 1998 music. How awful? The most dominant band that year was Goo Goo Dolls. Enough said.
For a song specifically about ephemerality, "Shimmer" is a remarkably addictive and timeless song. I wanted the rest of Sunburn, the album the song is taken from, to be that good. Of course, it isn't. "Shimmer" is one of the best radio-rock songs of the past two decades. If Fuel had recorded ten more songs of that caliber, the result would be one of the greatest albums of all time. That's a pretty unrealistic expectation for anything, and now that I'm older, I can see this album for what it is: a good one.
The sound Fuel helped pioneer in the late 90's and early 00's is so copied and played out by this point, it is very easy to forget how good they were with it. Sunburn is full of examples, particularly the excellent title track.

Man, 90's fashion ruled. So does Sunburn. There isn't a bad song, the band plays great, the dynamics are perfect, it flows well together, and it ends right when it needs to. 90's forever!

1998 550/Epic
1. Untitled 3:58
2. Bittersweet 3:51
3. Shimmer 3:33
4. Jesus or a Gun 3:58
5. Sunburn 4:23
6. New Thing 3:19
7. It's Come to This 3:39
8. Song for You 3:46
9. Mary Pretends 3:36
10. Ozone 3:49
11. Hideaway 4:03

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