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album review from Rolling Stone
September 22, 1988
Michael Azzerrad


Art Pop or Pop Art, it makes no difference -- in a perfect world, every song on this record would be a hit. The Primitives play as if they were late for an appointment, but they don’t let their infectious Sixties-style melodies get lost in the shuffle. Precise, pounding drums and wall-of-fuzz guitar are perfect foils for the smooth, cool vocals of Tracey Tracey, who is also the band’s tambourine player. The Primitives invite comparisons to Blondie, The Go-Go’s and the Buzzcocks; in other words, this is power pop to the nth degree.

"Crash," the first single, is a perfect little pop tune armed with a killer na-na-na chorus; "Spacehead" is another in the same vein, this time with a brilliant two-note guitar solo. But Lovely is not just a string of three-minute gems. Even that could get tiring after a while, so out come the tablas and sitar for some Beatlesque psychedelia on "Shadow." The band also slows it down on the gorgeous "Ocean Blue."

Lovely is only thirty-five minutes long, but as the Primitives amply demonstrate, brevity is the soul of pop.