Howdy! is the seventh album by Teenage Fanclub, released in 2000, and the band's only album with a major sublabel. It begins with a typically taut statement of low-key terror, I Need Direction, and in customary Teenage Fanclub style leads you down a dark alley of despair before suddenly bringing you out into the blinding metaphorical sunlight of another new dawn. Howdy! demonstrates that Teenage Fanclub have attained such an imperious mastery of their one musical trick – Beach Boys, Big Star, Beatles, Bacharach, Byrds, Badfinger and Band imitated, assimilated and expanded – that you can’t even be bothered to get annoyed with them anymore. The liberated sound of Howdy! shows that, in the moments of self-doubt that followed their untimely wake-up call, they’ve been out and seen the world, but like the bit where they started off best. There are plenty of moments of Fanclub genius – the triumphant The Town And the City, the majestic Straight And Narrow and the cathartic voyage of My Uptight Life.
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