by Tim Den
I’ve only been a fan of Versus for three or four years (starting with Two Cents Plus Tax), but I can’t tell you how much I’ve grown to love this NY outfit. Hurrah, recorded entirely by the band, is Versus at their most diverse yet cohesive. Injecting more than a tinge of Country/Western flavor into the usual raining guitar arpeggios and male/female harmonies, Hurrah tackles the trademarked Versus melodic tendencies from all different angles with each song. Sometimes it’s explosive carnage (“Frederick’s of Hollywood”), sometimes it’s crisp sing-alongs (“Shangri-La”), but it’s always unpredictably musical yet so familiar and warm that you can’t help but feel like this is what pop really could be. Potent hooks filled with sexual politics and innuendoes, snide remarks, and quiet confessions take what might’ve been ordinary ditties into the realm of greatness, where catchiness does not contradict or restrict the intellectual conquests of the composition. Just when you thought Versus couldn’t get any better, they do. One of my favorite records this year.
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