Lolita Nation (Expanded 2-Disc Reissue)
Review by David Bowling
Arguably one of the brilliant albums of the late 1980’s; Game Theory’s Lolita Nation has been out of print for nearly a quarter of a century, until now.
The original 27 track double LP is now presented in all its quirky glory. The sound has been remastered and has new liner notes plus interviews with the band and other original contributors. In addition there is a second disc that contains 21 alternate mixes, live recordings, and radio sessions. Covers of material by David Bowie, The Sex Pistols, Elvis Costello, Joy Division, The Smiths, and The Hollies serve to enhance the album’s listen ability and make it a lot more interesting. In many ways this added disc stands as its own album.
The music invokes a number of emotions. Sadness and joy mix with anger and warmth into a cascading smorgasbord of sound and words. Scott Miller plumbs the depths of his mind and soul for images that are opposed to each other. All this happens within an alternative rock and pop idiom.
Songs such as “Last Day That We’re Young,” “We Love You Carol And Allison,” and “Chardonnay” are required listening and they are only the tip of the creative iceberg.
The bonus tracks are centered on live performances of “Roadrunner,” “Carrie Anne,” and “One More For Saint Michael.” There is also an extended version of “Chardonnay,” which creates new levels of textures.
Lolita Nation is an album to be appreciated, even if it is a difficult listen at times. It should be approached as a suite with different parts that oddly manage to hang together. It can be challenging but if you keep at it, you will experience one of the better albums of its era.