Teenage Fanclub have enjoyed a near thirty year-career as one of Britain’s go to powerpop exports - having found success with modern classics ‘Bandwagonesque’ and ‘Grand Prix’ through the nineties, the group have delivered with consistent quality since. 2005’s ‘Shadows’ was another bright reminder of their songwriting chops - and over ten years on, it still show no signs of waning.
‘Here’ finds each member at a matured yet no less tender-hearted chapter in their lives. ‘The First Sight’ and ‘Live In A Moment’ are subtly beautiful uses of orchestral emotion and favourable melody, and ‘It’s A Sign’ embodies the influence of the group on some of their American contemporaries - phosphorescent hooks meeting delicate diary entries on life. ‘I Was Beautiful When I Was Alive’ is a purposeful middle, leisurely delivery replacing their sharpness for contemplation and reinvention - the perhaps unintentional combination between the group’s uplifting pop and pensive, less moving melodrama.
Through their slight development it’s difficult to entirely engage in the album at chosen moments, a matter of pretty structures breezing through without leaving a mark. ‘I Have Nothing More To Say’ is undeniably graceful in its ethereal approach, yet veers too far into the clouds - melancholic tales of absence lost within the prioritised effect. ‘Hold On’s attempts at a positive influence is commendable yet plodding - an unremarkable drift that’s rectified with further listens, yet takes away some of the group’s reliance for impactful immediacy.
‘Here’ joins the rest of the group’s catalogue in being consistently enjoyable, yet on this occasion not without flaw.