Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Top 100 Songs From the 1990s (No. 46)

46. "I Can't Stop Smiling"
Artist: Velocity Girl
Year: 1994

This slice of optimism comes at a good time as the start of this week has felt like a swift kick in the trousers... the front of the trousers at that. Obviously, it was the band's name that first attracted me to Velocity Girl. Those 83 seconds from Primal Scream just about define C86. So, if you're going to use a name like that, you had better be bringing the goods. Fortunately, Velocity Girl did. The band's early years on the Slumberland label were fuzzy, and they sounded like a bunch of UK shoegazers, even if they were from the D.C. area. They produced a few memorable singles in those days, and "My Forgotten Favorite" got some traction on college radio. That song garnered interest from Sub Pop just as the label was really making a name for itself. They sounded quite a bit different than the label's other bands, and it would be interesting to know why they went after a group that was often compared to Lush.

There were three full-length albums for the Seattle label. Velocity Girl matured during those years, and by middle album '¡Simpatico!' they had shed much of the lo-fi shoegaze for polished (but still fuzzy) power pop. The album's cleaner sound was credited to producer John Porter. Yes, the John Porter that was behind the desk for the debut album of the Smiths, as well as a few other memorable songs from the lads, including "How Soon Is Now?" I love this album and consider it one of the best from the decade. Hopefully this song will make you smile too.


The Swede said...

Another one I really should know, but don't. Delightful pop tuneage.

george said...

This sort of reminds me of the Teenage Fanclub. Anyway, this is a fine pop song, I don't think I have anything by them up the stairs.

Scott said...

As you say Brian, if you are going to name yourself after 83 seconds of pop perfection you better be bringing the goods and I Can's Stop Smiling duly delivers.

Scott said...

I Can't Stop Smiling is what it should say :)