Various Artists

The Brit Box: UK Indie, Shoegaze and Britpop Gems Of The Last Millennium

Various Artists

6 / 10 ‘The Brit Box’ is a 4-CD set tracing UK music from the mid-’80s to the turn of the century. The two Britpop discs are dominated by all the same deadeningly over-exposed highs (‘Live Forever’? ‘Common People’? ‘Tattva’?) but at least the Manics are represented by ‘Stay Beautiful’ and Blur get ‘Tracy Jacks’. The best stuff’s in the prologue, though: Catherine Wheel’s bristling shoegaze masterclass ‘I Want To Touch You’, the ghostly shimmer of Ride’s ‘Vapour Trail’, or My Bloody Valentine’s truly deep ‘Only Shallow’. Or look to Lush’s pretty ‘For Love’, or investigate indie-pop princes like Felt or proto-Britpoppers These Animal Men. All are a fitting tribute to an era of genuine independence and manic Brit eccentricity.

Gavin Haynes

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