Record Review - 3 February 06 2002

In one of the more startling and underrated reinventions in recent history, former twee-pop mascots Club 8 have quietly retired their giddy dance tempos, opting on their self-titled effort for a sort of quiet, pastoral tranquility that baffled their ABBA-adoring acolytes. Now, a scant six months later, Club 8 broadens their scope with Spring Came, Rain Fell, by great leaps their most mature and accomplished work.

Opening with a bass line lifted straight from Twin Peaks, Spring Came explores the sad side effects of collapsing love and hopes long deferred. The record develops photograph-slow, each song easing quietly into clarity rather than arriving crisp and fully formed. But where Club 8 felt, at times, stifled by the group's newfound seriousness, Spring Came moves past simple, somber tones into outright musical maturity.

For the first time it feels as if Club 8 is writing songs instead of ditties. Even decidedly uptempo numbers like the Cure-ish "The Chance I Deserve" are deliberate and artful.??