Belly – Dove
In a time where every recording artist is getting back together just to make a buck, where it feels like nostalgia sells better than sex, the hardly-remembered, female-fronted 1990s alternative rock band Belly has stepped right out of the alterna-teen-time-machine and has put out its first record since around the time Bill Clinton said “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” (he was lying, of course, he did have sexual relations with that woman, and that was some 20 years ago).
As some may recall, the band Belly seemed to ride on the coattails of bands like Nirvana, even though they were nothing like them, when alternative radio went mainstream around the Spring of 1993 with their hit song “Feed The Tree.” Star, the record “Feed The Tree,” was on, did so well it went gold and Belly even wound up on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. All and all, Belly were pretty successful, at least for a while, but the grunge-era was all but pissing in the wind by the end of 1995, the audience had moved on to something else. Nothing lasts forever.
Fast forward 20 years later and band leader/front-woman, the still very talented Tanya Donelly (Throwing Muses, The Breeders), has finally gotten the band back together for a new Belly album, their third release – an independent release, no label, completely self/fan-funded. Dove basically picks right up where Belly left off from their 1995 album King. It’s essentially a 1990s alternative-rock time capsule, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing either. It’s pretty in-focus for what it is. The band’s airy melody is there. Donelly still has that fiery rasp from 20 years prior, like she hasn’t missed a step.
But there’s only one real standout track on the album, and that’s the single “Shiny One.” Biggest criticism = song length. There are way too many songs that are just too long. Also, in my opinion, the story of waiting 20 years to hear this record is really more interesting than the actual album itself. I’m sure the few fans of Belly out there will love this record, but no one else will really care all that much. It’s the kind of album I imagine people that get those box dinners in the mail will listen to. It’s kind of background music. It’s boring. Yeah, listen to this as you cook your box dinner. Enjoy your crappy night, you really predictable middle-aged-normal-person, and don’t forget to tell me how Hello Fresh or whatever is saving you all kinds of money and how you’re losing all kinds of weight! (And how grocery stores are all evil!)