Teenage Fanclub, "Shadows"
Anyone still waiting around for Teenage Fanclub to deliver "Bandwagonesque Part II" hasn't been paying attention to the deeply satisfying latter half of the Scottish rock band's career. "Shadows," only the third Fanclub album of the millennium, sounds far removed from the feedback-laced melodic noise of the group's early years. But while its recent recordings have relfected a more subdued approach in the studio, band members Norman Blake, Gerard Love and Raymond McGinley never lose their knack for composing concise pop gems. They demonstrate that time and again on their new album, their finest since 1997's "Songs From Norther Britain." Love's '60s pop obsessions, Blake's gift for harmonic invention, and McGinley's plain-spoken way with a lyric all come to the fore as each takes his turn at the mic, a democratic approach that continues to reap dividends. Highlights include McGinley's reflective "The Fall," Love's "Sweet Days Waiting" and Blake's lovely piano ballad, "Dark Clouds." --Louis Hau