"Mixing the rhythmic stiffness and perverse amelodicism of the least user-friendly parts of "Spring Hill Fair" with their penchant for shameless beauty (that would dominate 1989's fine "16 Lovers Lane"), "Tallulah" is the Go-Betweens' toughest and finest work. "Spirit of a Vampyr" and "The House Jack Kerouac Built" detail personal anguish with angular music to match, but "Right Here," "Bye Bye Pride," and "Hope Then Strife" lace realistic depictions of relationships in-and-out-of-crisis (always the Go-Betweens' coup de grace) with absurdly magnificent chord changes. The additional instruments (viola/oboe -- thanks Amanda!) are the flourishes that make it even more memorable. Thanks for reissuing this!"
Uneven -- but the highlights are high indeed
Eric S. Minnard | 01/19/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The album is a bit of a disappointment, especially when measured against "Liberty Belle," but it contains two of the best songs the Go-Betweens (or any other 80s band) ever did. "Right Here" and "Bye Bye Pride" are the GB's at an absolute peak -- melodies, harmonies, bittersweet exuberance, gut-wrenching singing, pop at its pinnacle. If you're lucky enough to hear them when you're young and impressionable or going through something momentous in your life, they will touch you indelibly. Nothing else on the album matches these two jewels (a few tracks sound a bit dated in an unfortunate, 80s kind of way), but it's still worth picking up. That said, the "Bellavista Terrace" best-of collection might be the place to start for the uninitiated. It's a little skimpy and I could quibble with the selection, but any disc that has "Right Here", "Bye Bye Pride," "Head Full of Steam", "Streets of Your Town" and "Spring Rain" is a must. If you want a coherent, consistent album, try "Liberty Belle", a true masterpiece."
Superb Rock Album
cameron-vale | Seattle, WA | 07/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Go-Betweens were one of the few rock bands who just got better and better with each new album. After SEND ME A LULLABY, their charming but somewhat limp debut, all of their subsequent releases were major classic pop masterpieces. TALLULAH, the bands' fifth album, is one of their finest. The long standing lineup of Grant McLennan, Robert Forster, Lindy Morrison and Robert Vickers was augmented here by multi-instrumentalist Amanda Brown, who added immeasurably to the group's ever growing proficiency and fullness of sound. A great place to start for Go-Betweens' neophytes, TALLULAH contains some of the band's strongest and most delightful songs. The glorious "Right Here" and "Bye Bye Pride" are the album's most melodic and pop oriented songs, of course, but all of the others (especially "Hope Then Strife", the desparing and haunting final track) provide almost perfect examples of the group's beguiling and quirky music. The only true problem child, "Cut It Out", has received a great deal of flack over the years but it has an absolutely terrific chorus that irrefutably breaks the song free from the constraints of mediocrity. It may not be The Go-Betweens' ultimate masterpiece--that would arguably be 16 LOVERS LANE--but TALLULAH is full of great songs and comes highly recommended for all fans of lush, ravishingly beautiful guitar rock."
So close to pop perfection....
Michael Connelly | 09/06/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"No, no, no stop you evil producer!!! "Tallulah"]comes oh so close to being a pop masterpiece, however the quest for chart acceptance resulted in some utterly hideous production. If you can get over this flaw and a few other little rhythmic and vocal problems here and there you may really enjoy this record. Track breakdown:
1. Right Here; This is one of Grant's most obvious attempts at a chart hit and whilst it sounds a little cheesy and very dated the melodies and vocal sentiments are undeniably beautiful.
2. You Tell Me: Forster's first track may not be one of his finest, however some of the lyrics are great interesting.
3. Someone Else's Wife: This had real potential. There is a nice atmosphere at work here and Brown's violin playing is quite stunning, however Grant's vocals just don't seem to work (he is more shouting than actually singing in a pleasant key). Flawed but enjoyable.
4. I Just Get Caught Out: Forster has a stab at a more straight forward pop song and it works quite well.
5. Cut It Out: This is probably their most cheesy song, however the female vocals that kick in during the chorus are quite beautiful.
6. The House That Jack Kerouac Built: The record really starts at shine with this Forster penned number. The vocals and lyrics are superb ("in a darkened cinema I'll give you pleasure in the stalls") and the arrangement has a nice jarring yet beautiful quality to it.
7. Bye Bye Pride: With track 7 we reach one of the finest pop moments they would create. Everything on this track is utterly perfect. Gorgeous vocals from Grant and Amanda, lovely melodies, introspective lyrics and some great woodwind to back it up. This along with "Cattle and Cane" is easily Grant's finest moment.
8. Spirit Of A Vampyre: Another fine Forster number that contains some nice reflective lyrics and a suitably rockier edge.
9. The Clarke Sisters: This remains my favourite album track. The subtle production, emotive vocals and gorgeous arrangement work perfectly. A fascinating character sketch and one of Forster's finest songs.
10. Hope Then Strife: A suitable way to end the record. There are a few little vocal moments that don't quite work here, however with better production this had potential to be one of Grant's best moments.
A flawed masterpiece if there ever was one!"
Great Hair Band
Eric S. Minnard | Michigan | 10/18/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Krokus was the first concert that I ever went to and this concert is a great reminder about how cheesy a band can be but make kick a** music. Good stuff."