In Space

  • Record Label: Rykodisc
  • Release Date: Sep 27, 2005
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 15 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15

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  1. DrewM
    Oct 5, 2005
    6
    Uneven and only Lady Sweet sounds anything like Big Star. The problem is that we want it to sound 1974 and its 2005. Sometimes you just can't go back or too much has happened in the musician's lives to let them go back.
  2. EliasC
    Sep 29, 2005
    5
    The best thing here is a cover: the Olympics's '66 "Mine Exclusively." And it fades out way too soon, whereas the risibly incompetent "Love Revolution" (I could play bass better than whoever's on this track) goes on for, I dunno, several minutes. Something is just wrong with this record conceptually and aurally, which is odd when you remember that the first two Big Star The best thing here is a cover: the Olympics's '66 "Mine Exclusively." And it fades out way too soon, whereas the risibly incompetent "Love Revolution" (I could play bass better than whoever's on this track) goes on for, I dunno, several minutes. Something is just wrong with this record conceptually and aurally, which is odd when you remember that the first two Big Star albums are some of the best-sounding music ever recorded. I've never quite understood why Chilton and Stephens picked the Posies guys to flesh out the group. The Posies do their thing well, but I for one find them derivative and bit, ah, wet. Given the fact that Chilton's best stuff since the late '70s has more to do with soul music than with powerpop, it's puzzling why Alex didn't choose to work with someone like Teenie Hodges instead of Auer and Stringfellow. Far too much has been made of Big Star's failure to achieve commercial success, and I for one have little use for the so-called powerpop genre. Get rid of all of it except maybe a few Raspberries singles, a couple of the best Badfinger tunes, the first two Big Star albums and the first two Marshall Crenshaw albums, and I'd be content. Too, I think Big Star's audience has always been a bit in the dark about what their music really "means"--like a lot of stuff, what they were all about had more to do with groove, tempo and so forth than jangle, great songs (which they mostly didn't write) and the whole powerpop orthodoxy. And I think Chilton's solo work is underrated--"Like Flies on Sherbert" is a masterpiece. It's just that many powerpop fans can't get over the Beatles, and they don't get that Chilton has always been a chameleon with more affinity for r&b than with whatever powerpop is. "In Space" illustrates this quite well--the stuff that's "melodic" pretty much sucks, and the only reason I can find to listen to it is groove and the way the songs are played (Stephens is a great drummer, and Chilton, while the most mannered of great rock guitarists, can still get it). What's missing is a context in which they can do it. Bad idea to ever revive the group--I'd just as soon listen to the reformed Box Tops. Expand
  3. wx
    Oct 28, 2005
    4
    This record will make you cry. Maybe. The Star has fallen from atop the Christmas tree, but it's late January, and the whole thing should have been put away long ago. Get a broom.
  4. BrandonS
    Sep 27, 2005
    4
    Alex Chilton is still quite a puzzle. If there's one thing we know about him, it's that he's totally self-destructive in terms of his career. Now, I of course love those Big Star albums, and High Priest/Black List is an excellent cd, but the rest of Chilton's catalog is iffy at best and just plain bad at worst. The only thing he had left in terms of a good rep was the Alex Chilton is still quite a puzzle. If there's one thing we know about him, it's that he's totally self-destructive in terms of his career. Now, I of course love those Big Star albums, and High Priest/Black List is an excellent cd, but the rest of Chilton's catalog is iffy at best and just plain bad at worst. The only thing he had left in terms of a good rep was the fact that he is a legend because of his early work. To release an average/sub-average cd under the moniker Big Star is Chilton diminishing his own Big Star legend. So be it. It's just part of his bizarre charm, I suppose. Expand
Metascore
61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 16
  2. Negative: 1 out of 16
  1. Billboard
    70
    There is enough of the original DNA in the mix to make this a worthy listen for fans. [1 Oct 2005]
  2. In Space is an album that should appeal to anyone who digs Alex Chilton; however, anyone expecting a Big Star album is going to be more than a bit puzzled by most of these tunes.
  3. Blender
    40
    It sounds as bitter and cynical as most of Chilton's solo stuff since Big Star originally imploded. [Oct 2005, p.134]