Automatic by The Jesus and Mary Chain is the third album by this Scottish alt/shoegaze band. It came out in 1989 and played a large role in my formative college years. The unique thing about this album is that brothers William and Jim Reid eschewed the traditional guitars/bass/drum format and basically served as the sole musicians on the album, replacing their drummer with a drum machine and the bass guitar with a synthesizer. I've always been a sucker for melody and that is what captured my attention the first time I heard the album. Although their earlier records had a lot of fuzz and distortion, the melody was still there. With Automatic, they toned down the distortion and focused more on the melody and vocals. The album was panned by the critics when it first came out but, in hindsight, some of those same critics think it may have been the peak of their career. Regardless, it's a fun album to listen to, especially knowing that guitars and vocals are the only "real" instruments being played.
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