Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

Scotland births amazing pop bands. I don't know if it's the climate or some other as yet unidentified factor, but great pop continually emanates from this fair isle — Teenage Fanclub, Belle and Sebastian, and John Peel's personal favorite, The Delgados. Universal Audio, the latest release by this quintessentially Scottish band, carries on the rich tradition of impossibly delicious Scottish pop. Sweet but not saccharin, famously lush, every track shines majestic. Every track. Which makes for an astonishingly beautiful album.

While their previous releases embraced a symphonic grandeur that required a miniature orchestra, this album is strictly Delgados. Fear not! The noble Delgados opulence remains evident in the fullness of the arrangements — swirling guitars (both acoustic and electric) layer over shimmering drums and gorgeous vocal harmonies to create a sound that is the very definition of pop-orchestral. They use more sparing sections — simple piano and vocals on one song, an acoustic guitar and harmonica in another — to accentuate the lush splendor they lavish moments later.

"Everybody Come Down" provides a spot-on example of The Delgados' irrefutably dazzling style. With Emma Pollock's breathy vocals and an acoustic/electric guitar melange, it catches you from the first verse and tightens its grip with each measure. "Everybody Come Down" has that timeless quality of a great pop song. It will sound just as fresh and bright years from now. "Get Action!" sounds equally enduring, a straight ahead midtempo track that crescendos to a fabulous Teenage Fanclub-esque chorus. Universal Audio delights at every turn. The songs spill forth one after the next, saturating your mind with the sounds of pop perfection.