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Jellyfish

Jellyfish Album Reviews

San Francisco’s Jellyfish were under appreciated at the time, but have since gained a devoted following. They’re classified as a power pop band, but they bring just the right amount of sincerity to feel grounded, without sacrificing the fun that power pop needs to work. They’re notable for their ornate arrangements, especially on 1993’s Spilt Milk, where their harmonies are reminiscent of The Beach Boys or Queen. Jellyfish were also notable for their live shows, where lead singer and drummer Andy Sturmer performed with a standing drum kit. The group’s other constant member was keyboardist Roger Joseph Manning Jr; the pair had previously played together in Beatnik Beatch.

Unfortunately, Jellyfish only released two albums, and 1990’s Bellybutton essentially feels like a warm-up for Spilt Milk. I also have a 20 song compilation, but I don’t think it’s worth covering despite a few interesting b-sides – it’s more satisfying to hear their two albums in their entirety. But despite their small discography, I’ve given them a dedicated page, and I also have solo albums by Jason Faulkner, who played guitar on Bellybutton, and Roger Joseph Manning Jr, which I’ll cover sometime.

Ten Favourite Jellyfish songs

Glutton of Sympathy
New Mistake
The Ghost At Number One
Joining a Fan Club
I Wanna Stay Home
That Is Why
Too Much, Too Little, Too Late
Baby’s Coming Back
He’s My Best Friend
Worthless Heart

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Bellybutton – Jellyfish

1990, 7.5/10. 1990 debut, Bellybutton, synthesises XTC, The Beatles, and Cheap Trick into an enjoyable blend of lush, harmonised power pop.

Spilt Milk – Jellyfish

1993, 9/10. Split Milk raises the ante significantly, with more memorable songs, more complex arrangements, and more punchy guitars.

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