You Am I: Andy Kent (vocals, bass); Russell Hopkinson (vocals, marimba, xylophone, drums, percussion, congas); Tim Rogers (guitar, harmonica, Farfisa organ, Hammond organ, xylophone).
Additional personnel: Greg Hitchcock (guitar, organ); Paul McKercher (cello); Adrian Keating, Adriand Bobocoa, Mirka Rozmus, Nadia Kelvin, Debbie Lander, Paul MacMillan, Marcus Harstein (strings); Linda Bacon, Tim Hopkins, James Greening (horns); David Sumalis (piano).
Engineers: Wayne Connolly, Paul McKercher, Jim Scott.
Darlings of the press and near icons in their Australian homeland, You Am I never broke through in the U.S., and this ambitious Warner Bros./Sire release did little to ingratiate the group to an America fascinated with the packaging of youth culture. Commercial issues aside, any fan of Cheap Trick, the Replacements, and a few older stars of the British Invasion will revel in Hourly, Daily, a conceptual piece that is obsessed with the past but without retro trappings. Singer/guitarist Tim Rogers laces together complex ideas with a narrative that transforms the pain of growing up artistic and male in Australia into a weird rock & roll existentialism. Examinations of socially distorted animal fright (like "Please Don't Ask Me to Smile") are told during lonely bus rides and alcoholic meditations. Impressively, the coded messages are never overbearing, as many songs (the opening title track, for instance) are immediately attractive pop numbers that can survive by their melodies. After repeated listening, the lyrics then blur into a naked prose that's rich and almost distracting. When the narrator lifts his eyes from the cracks in the pavement ("Wally Raffles," "Baby Clothes"), the pop surprise is almost euphoric. The rest of the time, he's just a boy trying to be free of himself, hopeless about his prospects. It's all done with such grand style that listeners will never worry about the antihero's proximity to the edge. That is, as long as he can sing. ~ Vincent Jeffries
Magnet (p.78) - "HOURLY, DAILY stands as the finest, most cohesive batch of pop-vignettes from the old, normal Australia."
Option (7-8/97, p.140) - "...This is superior pop rock, a humble, yet auspicious album."