Including lead singer/drummer Andy Sturmer
, guitarist Jason Falkner
, and keyboardist Roger Manning
, the San Francisco band Jellyfish
released their 1990 debut Bellybutton
to critical raves. Despite the kudos and some play at video outlets, the album failed to make much of a commercial impact. It was truly unfortunate because Bellybutton
, despite obvious influences, was a breath of fresh pop air. "The Man I Used to Be" kicks off the album as a catchy song about domestic failure wrapped in nautical metaphors. The single "The King Is Half-Undressed" is a slice of effervescent power pop whose melody runs counter to the lyrical theme of loneliness. In fact, behind the bounce and breeze of Bellybutton
's engaging songs is a recurring theme of melancholy and longing like "She Still Loves Him," with its stirring vocal harmonies and a blistering guitar solo, and the punchy "All I Want Is Everything." Better yet is the second chance the singer delights in on the joyous "Baby's Coming Back," which is accentuated with handclaps. Delightful.