This was the first Galaxie 500 album I heard, which was in a way unfortunate, because its opening song, “Fourth of July,” is, to my taste, the best thing they ever did, and also rather different from most of their other work. I was disappointed with the rest of this album, and disappointed with their other two studio albums (not that I didn’t like them, but they were never quite as good as I hoped they would be). Galaxie 500 would have been a much better band if they had bothered to write more interesting and substantial lyrics, not to mention a more varied group of songs. Sometimes you think you’re hearing the same song over and over: it starts with a slowly strummed clean electric guitar, the bass and drums come in, the slightly whiny unhappy-sounding vocal sings sketchy mundane words.
The obvious place to start in describing Galaxie 500’s music is the more sedate and somber side of the Velvet Underground. But in contrast to the VU’s vision of crazed urban degenerates, Galaxie 500 seems to come from a world of dispirited preppies. If you basically like their sound, which I do, you can keep listening and the songs will grow on you. Otherwise, go to your eMusic account (or iTunes if you must), and get “Fourth of July” and the cover of Yoko Ono’s “Listen the Snow is Falling” which is the other high point of this album, and you’ll two killer tracks which are the very best of the group. Or, if you want to be a bit more adventurous, get the best-of compilation The Portable Galaxie 500.Pre-TypePad