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THE PINES – It’s Been A While (Matinée)

Posted: February 8th, 2007, by Maxwell Williams

“Why do you stick to me?” questions The Pines’ Pam Berry on It’s Been A While, a collection of songs from the iconic pondcrossing somberpop romancers. Berry is one of the most recognizable voices in American indiepop, with a dulcet croon and a perfect sense of timing and timbre, and we’ve stuck with her since her days in the fetishized Black Tambourine though her work with The Pines, with good reason.

Though songs like “Marie Claire,” “Please Don’t Get Married” and “Familiar” catch Berry and Pines-mate Joe Brooker in quite whimsical moods, the mostly drumless record rarely reaches past dreamy blues or melancholy greens, giving it a folksy pop quality that makes it enjoyable mostly in the rain, or over a post-break-up scotch.

It’s hard to complain when you like every single song on the record, but for reasons unknown, It’s Been A While is not a completist artifact. It’s a collection of compilation tracks, single and EP cuts and a couple unreleased covers (of which the Young Marble Giants cover is an absolute gem), which begs the question, when will the next collection come out so we can fill in the holes. It may have been better to just package it all together.

A must-have record this early in the year when so much crap is coming out, though, is more than welcome.

-Maxwell Williams


Maxwell Williams

5 Responses to THE PINES – It’s Been A While (Matinée)

  1. simon.minter

    Pam Berry – where do I know that name from? Has she been in other bands in the past?

  2. t.sync

    I was going to feel very clever for pointing out that she was in Black Tambourine and then I realised the review already says that. How about the Shapiros and the Snowdrops? There were some others too (Belmondo?) but I think mostly single 7″ affairs.

  3. Invalidated, or, I Dated Invalids

    Yep, she’s been in loads of bands. Not to mention the fact that she co-founded Chickfactor magazine! If you’re unfamiliar, it might be best to try and track down records by the Castaway Stones and Glo Worm (and Black Tambourine, natch). Plus, she’s done stuff with the Lucksmiths and the Clientele and a bunch of other bands.

    A true indiepop heroine…

  4. simonminter

    Chickfactor, that’s where I remember the name from. That was a good magazine (or maybe still is? is it still going?)

  5. Invalidated, or, I Dated Invalids

    I believe it’s mostly online now, but still alive and kicking!