Menu | Rating System | Guest Book | Archived Reviews:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

  Art Class (Song for Yayoi Kusama)  
Release Date:
Reviewed by:

I am a completist. That is, when i get into an artist, i really want to hear ALL of their music. Singles, outtakes, b-sides, live versions, alternate takes, etc. I do this, i think, as an attempt to understand the creative process. To see all aspects of what an artist does in order to understand why certain artists appeal to me as they do. Or maybe it is just a bit of the old obsessive-compulsive disorder showing through. At any rate, my rabid Superchunk fan-ness has prompted me to track down the singles off of their latest album, Here's To Shutting Up.

This one came out a few months after the album, and is centered around the track Art Class (song for Yayoi Kusama), which was well-liked around these parts when we sat and discussed the album. There are two b-sides, a live track, and a live video added on to round out the Single.

The first b-side is called Hot Break and is a bouncey old-Superchunk rocker that could have been an outtake to Here's Where The Strings Come In. Yeah, baby! It's got guitars and drums and it moves along at a very nice pace. Good stuff.

The second b-side is extremely different. It's called Collection of Accounts and is synthpop done a la Superchunk. A prominent synth melody drives the song, along with Mac's very light, almost falsetto-ish singing. The guitarwork is interesting on the whole (depsite, or maybe because of, the cheesey 70's style guitar solo near the end), and Laura's bass sounds really good. I like the Superchunk synthpop stuff, so i find this track to be interesting. If you, like some others i know, really wish they would ditch the keyboards and get back to making songs like Hot Break, then you probably won't like this song so much.

The musical portion of the Single ends with a live acoustic version of Art Class. The song's mid-paced tempo works well in an acoustic guitar format, and as an added bonus it loses the Chris Lopez backing vocal that i disliked on the actual album version. So, to me, this is an improvement over the album version. Good stuff.

And finally, there is a video. I have ranted again and again about how i'm just not into video, but apparently lots of folks are. Well, this is Art Class played live in concert. It's a decent audio recording (a little too heavy on the bass) but a pretty good video recording of the band in action. You get to see Laura do her ubiquitous pogo, Jim flail his guitar around, Jon beat the drums, and Mac sing. If you have never seen them, then it's probably very cool. If you have, then i bet that, like me, you will find that something is missing from the live experience when watching the video. Still, it's not terrible.

Overall, this is a good Single. If you enjoyed Here's To Shutting Up, then this is definitely a release to look out for. If you aren't a Superchunk fan already though, then this probably isn't for you.

Related Links:

Here's To Shutting Up.
An exhaustive Evaluated Discography of all Superchunk releases, as well as some information about the band.


Return to the top of this page. | Return to the Album Review menu.