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Lush: Gala (1990)

Technically a collection of early EPs and singles, Gala was the first "album" available in the US, and has always had a special place in my heart.  It came out while I was in law school and going through a shoegaze and Britpop phase, and it's something I still closely associate with that time in my life.  At the time, it didn't seem like there was much decent music coming out of the US, aside from the latest releases from the bands I'd been listening to in college (R.E.M., the Feelies, Sonic Youth, etc.); but there was a lot of interesting music coming our way from the UK.  The Stone Roses, My Bloody Valentine, Ride... and Lush, whose intertwined, ethereal female vocals set them apart from many of the other bands of the era.

They've been compared a fair amount to the Cocteau Twins (whose guitarist produced some of Lush's work), though the Cocteaus up until then had a darker, more gothic strain, while Lush was lighter and a lot more jangly.  Case in point -…

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