I’m going to make the assumption here that Magnapop is pretty obscure, even though they’ve been around for nearly 30 years, and am now going to express my disbelief that a song as great as “Texas” has maybe been heard by a couple of hundred thousand people max.
Which was kind of crazy-making at the time, given that bands in roughly the same space were making inroads on the charts, on the radio, even on the MTV. So what was it?
We were talking just the other day
A day away from here
And decided to lock you in a room
To let you realize your worth
As sang by Linda Hopper over a tangle of acoustic guitars, that’s one of my all-time favorite openings to any songs: gorgeous and provocative all at the same time. It’s followed almost immediately by a shower-blast of anthemic Ruthie Morris guitar and Dave McNair drums as Hopper continues.
I want to take you on a trip
So far away from everything
We have in common
Or had in common
And then, before they drop down to repeat it all over again, there’s a glorious few bars where Shannon Mulvaney swims through the mix with an exquisite bass hook, and “Texas” is bigger than, well, Texas. And with Ruthie Morris launching a pair of skyrocketing solos on top of everything else, prettier, to boot.
So I think it was at least partially because Magnapop featured a classic singer/guitarist dichotomy in an era where female-fronted bands usually had a single focal point: Courtney Love or Kim Deal or Tanya Donnelly or Anna Waronker.
They were also more straightforward musically than The Breeders or Belly or that dog or even Hole, so that was probably part of it as well. So yeah, a song like “Texas” is going to rise or fall on whether or not you’re going to like an incredibly great-sounding noisepop song like “Texas.”
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