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The La's

The La's were one of the few English alternative groups to keep traditional British guitar pop alive during the late '80s and early '90s. Drawing heavily from the punchy British Invasion sound of early Beatles, the Hollies, the Searchers, and the Small Faces, the group's eponymous debut is a swirling array of ringing guitar hooks and strong, undeniable pop melodies. Throughout the record, chief songwriter Lee Mavers turns out small, well-crafted gems, highlighted by the hit single "There She Goes," whose jangling hooks and sighing melodies simply scratch the surface of the abundance of pleasures on the record. While Mavers claimed at the time that the label forced him to release The La's, it's hard to imagine the record being any more infectious. As it stands, The La's was a refreshing slice of classicist guitar pop at the time of its release, and its charms have not faded over the years. [The 2001 British reissue includes five bonus tracks: "All by Myself," "Clean Prophet," "Knock Me Over," a live recording of "Over," and an alternate take of "I.O.U."] Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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