1993, Music

Giant Steps (1993) by The Boo Radleys

As neo-psychedelia goes, this is a pretty diverse and varied record. That’s good because it’s not all that psychedelic comparatively speaking – I’m thinking of Mercury Rev by way of comparison – and often has more in common with britpop.

As others have noted, though this band has strong melodies, they do not have the strongest melodies. This is not the catchiest record I’ve ever heard, which is probably why it took me a little time to warm up to it.

Fortunately the arrangements are the real star; they vary from slightly psychedelic to borderline shoegaze – I guess these guys used to be a shoegaze band? – to Blur-esque. They’re all over the place, which is a real treat given how samey so many of the bands tend to be in the music scene these guys came up in. To the extent that this album is good or perhaps at times very good, it’s due to these arrangements, which balance competing impulses while still allowing most if not all the songs to sound like the same band.

But the thing is too damn long for me, and I kind of lose interest near the end. And I would prefer a set of songs where I liked the underlying songs as much as the arrangements, as that might make it close to a truly great record.


All songs and lyrics written by Martin Carr, with music by The Boo Radleys.

  1. “I Hang Suspended” – 3:57
  2. “Upon 9th and Fairchild” – 4:50
  3. “Wish I Was Skinny” – 3:37
  4. “Leaves and Sand” – 4:25
  5. “Butterfly McQueen” – 3:28
  6. “Rodney King (Song for Lenny Bruce)” – 2:45
  7. “Thinking of Ways” – 3:48
  8. “Barney (…and Me)” – 4:42
  9. “Spun Around” – 2:31
  10. “If You Want It, Take It” – 2:47
  11. “Best Lose the Fear” – 4:12
  12. “Take the Time Around” – 4:07
  13. “Lazarus” – 4:38
  14. “One Is For” – 1:36
  15. “Run My Way Runway” – 2:20
  16. “I’ve Lost the Reason” – 5:17
  17. “The White Noise Revisited” – 5:02
  • Sice – vocals
  • Rob Cieka – drums, percussion
  • Tim Brown – bass guitar, keyboards
  • Martin Carr – guitar, keyboards, vocals
  • Steve Kitchen – trumpet, flugel horn
  • Lindsay Johnston – cello
  • Jackie Toy – clarinet, bass clarinet
  • Meriel Barham – vocals on “Rodney King” and “One Is For”
  • Chris Moore – trumpet on “Lazarus”
  • Margaret Fiedler – cello on “Lazarus”
  • Keith Cameron – vocals on “The White Noise Revisitied”
  • Yvette Lacey – vocals on “The White Noise Revisitied”
  • Moose – handclaps on “Wish I Was Skinny”, vocals on “The White Noise Revisitied”
  • Kle – vocals on “The White Noise Revisitied”
  • Laurence – vocals on “The White Noise Revisitied”
  • Nick Addison – vocals on “The White Noise Revisitied”
  • Guy Fixsen – vocals on “The White Noise Revisitied”
  • Russell – handclaps on “Wish I Was Skinny”

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