Released in 1996, March 4th, being the bands final album due to later circumstances that caused them to split, Lovelife is a much underrated album. It is debatably one of the band’s best, as it has songs that are very likened by the masses. It is actually very different from their other albums, thus it stands out further in their discography. Their previous music was more droning and drenched in Shoegaze, which is what they are really known for. This album basically represents Lush going pop, despite it being released under an indie label such as 4AD. Their music was no longer as dark as it was before, instead in this album you are faced with catchy melodies and hooked onto rhythmic lyrics.
Basically, Lush were caught up in UK’s rise of Britpop at the time, so perhaps there might’ve been this pressure to sound a bit more pop. Therefore it is considerable that this album was part of this Britpop movement, with Lush being English themselves, and lets not forget that memorable duet that Miki did with Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker on this album. Whether this was intended to be a Britpop album or not, there is no exact answer, however there is no denying that this is a bittersweet album. Months after the album’s release, drummer Chris Acland killed himself. This brought an even more bitter end to the band’s career, despite them trying to carry on soon afterwards. It just didn’t seem to feel right. Therefore, we have this very last album to remind us of the greatness of Lush in their time. It is quite a timeless album, and needs to be celebrated more!
Songs such as “Single Girl” have captured my attention, as it is lyrically witty and entertaining along with its reasonably calming innocence represented in Miki Berenyi’s vocals, and also in the strumming of the guitars during each verse. “Lady Killers” became a hit as well, especially with the Britpop crowd back in the 90s. The song has this tamed rowdiness that is absolutely unavoidable, and again, just like in “Single Girl” I admire how witty of a song it is. You simply cannot miss “Ciao!” featuring Jarvis Cocker from Pulp, there is so much originality in this song both instrumentally and lyrically. However, you can channel those 60s vibes from this one, as it’s kind of like a Nancy Sinatra-esqued song in some way. This was delightful for the Britpop masses as well, because of course you had Jarvis Cocker’s charming cynicism droning into the song, which fit so well with Miki’s. Another song that is unmissable in this album is “Olympia”, the album closes off with this song. In fact the very last line in the song is “And now time to switch off”, not predicting their break up (or maybe so…?). It is quite a beautiful song, it is soothing, melodic and the feminine vocals (Emma also had a beautiful voice) with the dream-pop-esqued guitar strumming completely put a decade of Shoegaze and Britpop into perspective. There is so much in this song to love.
Below you can have a listen and cherish this gem of an album.
This album definitely builds a lump in our throats and makes our eyes itchy, for it makes us remember the band and just how great they were. It is very agreeable that this album needs more recognition, and the cosmetics brand “Lush” aren’t doing it any favours!