I expected nothing. I got a sun-drenched palette of lazy days lounging by a pool with a margarita and a good book. Refreshing. Possibly not life-changing but the best vacations usually aren’t.
Sunshine Hit Me is the debut album from the British band The Bees. At the time when the album was recorded the band only comprised Paul Butler and Aaron Fletcher, who wrote, performed and recorded the album alone using a home studio in Butler's parents' garden. Both Butler and Fletcher had been active in the Isle of Wight music scene for a while, performing in local indie/electronic outfits Pnu Riff and, more recently, the Exploding Thumbs. Butler had also guested on several other albums produced on the island, including some by Max Brennan. The album is eclectic and summery, with a range of influences that include psychedelia, Jamaican dub, reggae, indie, 1960s rock and others. It earned a Mercury Music Prize nomination and also featured in the 2005 and 2008 editions of the book 1001 Albums: You Must Hear Before You Die by Michael Lydon. The main single "A Minha Menina" was used in a Citroën car advertisement, which also helped the band to get noticed. The track was also used in an advert for Magners Irish Cider in December 2008, as well as a Mars advertisement in Australia in 2002.
I expected nothing. I got a sun-drenched palette of lazy days lounging by a pool with a margarita and a good book. Refreshing. Possibly not life-changing but the best vacations usually aren’t.
Thank you 1001 for introducing me to do many new albums. Except for all the crap ones like the one after this.... Music is meant to be fun. To press a musical pleasure button. Bring about a wanted emotion or distract from an unwanted one. This one is a very, very out there version that. This is at the DEADPOOL end of the spectrum. Soothing quirky irony is track one. I gird myself for the 2nd. Oooh, funky. I like the kettle. Oh shit I might be hooked on a new album. And wildly new genre that feels created all for me. I'm in a good mood with this. Immediately added this to my "grooving mornings" playlist.
Fantastic songwriting and arranging. Would’ve given an extra star if the album had the production quality and musicianship it deserved.
Sweet little record, too gentle for this world, baffling to see on this list though.
Short and sweet, interesting arrangements. Got a little tired of it towards the end, but happy I listened to this cause I ain't heard of em before. Light 3.5 Fav track: sunshine
Remember The Bees? No, of course you don’t. They were a flash in the pan and unless you were reading Mojo or Uncut in 2002, you’d have no fucking clue who they are. It’s cool they covered Os Mutantes, that’s about it.
Album art suggests hipster garbage. It has fuck all plays on Spotify; unless it was only added yesterday, there's no way it's important or influential in any way whatsoever. It has to be from the UK - nothing so unknown would ever make this list from any other country - but a wrestler on the cover? That's not so British. Maybe that's the gag and it's just the ultimate UK hipster statement? Yep, UK and wussy annoying hipster pop. I could FEEL the cynicism coming through the speakers. It felt like it wanted to be clever, but it was just painful. I outright hated it. Music hard to describe, like an art school kid with no talent trying to do things like reggae and jazz? Singing was horrendous. Absolutely no reason for this to exist. 1/5.
This is absolutely my favorite McCartney album of the 21st century.
Chill vibe. Enjoyable, though actually disliked the Minha Menina one that was so popular
Super eclectic and a super enjoyable listen
Not my type of music going into it but man was I pleasantly surprised. A minha menina is great, I had to listen to that one twice, it was so good. The album is really great. I'm probably going to have to get more restrictive with the 5 star ratings pretty soon. It's been like 3 in a row. Well, anyway. Albums dope, will definitely put it on again as background while studying or working.
Really enjoyed this listening experience. A good flow to the album, with instrumental tracks between the main tracks.
Fun, sunny and chill indie pop from 2002. I caught on to the accents quite quick but didn't initially expect this to be a British band - It has a very west-coast US feel to it in my opinion. Certainly doesn't suit the shitty weather the UK has once again blessed us with on this cold November morning but I needed something like this to raise my spirits. I loved this album a lot, it may not be the most exciting but I just appreciated getting to vibe with it. Another great introduction to something right up my alley! Also I went and listened to the original Os Mutantes version of A Minha Menina after this. I can't decide which one I prefer more, but The Bees certainly did it justice in their cover. Either way, Jorge Ben wrote it so of course it was good. Favourite: A Minha Menina
Indie rock. Muy interesante.
Smooooooooooooooooth… garden shed energy.
Joyful without becoming too twee. Best track: A Minha Menina
Zomers inderdaad. Kon er wel van genieten
Buenísimo. Me gustó que esté en la lista.
Smooth and fresh
Totally dug, perhaps because one listened during a lazy afternoon, during which one was (unfortunately) not stoned, lest one would have liked even more. One plans to listen again sometime, when lazy, stoned or, ideally, both.
Þetta er og hljómar heimagert, en er um leið ljúft og sjarmerandi. Renndi tvisvar, gæti oftar.
Wat een chille zomersound, heel erg lekker. Kan me voorstellen dat dit ook vrij origineel was toen het uitkwam. Op een gegeven moment een beetje saai.
Pues en general, bastante bien. En verdad, la canción "más grande" es la que menos me ha gustado...
I liked this more than I thought I would 3.5 stars
When I saw that this album was a early 2000s indie album I went in expecting at least a decent album and it exceeded my expectations. This album started off really strong and mostly kept up the momentum throughout the whole thing. I liked the first song and I was really surprised by the cover of A Minha Menina like I never expected to hear that anywhere beside that os mutantes album. It was also weird and fun to hear a waltz come out of nowhere near the end. I loved the overall vibes but some of the songs near the end kinda let me down so I'm not quite sure if this gets a 5. I listened to this the whole day and I still not idea if I should give it a 4 or a 5 but I’m giving it a really solid 4 only because I didn’t get that excited feeling that I get when I’m listening to most of the other albums I’ve given a 5 to.
Really really nice surprise ! Don't know how to put it in other words but this album sounds really fruity
This band is completely new to me, but I'm an instant fan. I loved all the great keys and organ parts, the raw-sounding vocals gave it a kind of timeless quality, and the variety in style over the album all made it great for me.
J'ai passé un bon moment c'était smooth une belle musique en fond pour une soirée relax / pluvieuse avec un feu peut être.4.25
Very calming music. Not too bad.
I have a method now to these UK bands of assuming they will be garbage based on the trends we have so far, but this one was great! Lots of fun tracks on here, almost felt like a low fi hip hop album mixed with some pop.
I was pleasantly surprised with this pretty modern sounding summery album. 7/10
Ooh, I like this a lot. Missing a real shine factor, but I wonder what the rest of the discography looks like.
Essential Tracks: A Minha Menina (Playlist) Punchbag Sunshine Sky Holds the Sun
I like it. It’s a little weird, a little silly, and an eclectic mishmash of styles. I also like the album cover. It made me want to listen to more of their music—which is a compliment to the album as it is. I’ve started listening to their second album and I think it’s clearly superior—I’m finding that the 1001 Albums seem to overvalue debuts. I must also admit that I’m surprised that this album made the cut and I’d be curious to know the reasoning. In any case, this is a solid album that was fun and surprising and left me wanting more. That earns a solid 4 stars.
This was so good! Put me in a good mood. Perfect for chilling out. I'd rather not type the eight songs I liked here, it would be too much. What I found funny was that I only had heard Os Mutantes a few days ago and remembered A Minha Menina!
I'd never heard of The Bees (and sort of surprised they made this list when I first started to listen through) But I actually quite enjoyed most of the tracks - feels like would be a sunny-afternoon-gardening kind of vibe. Some of the tracks felt like they just had a few too many instruments trying to do too much, but overall I would listen to again for some chill background music. The track Sunshine scratched my brain in a way I didn't know I needed and I ended up listening to it on repeat Buzziest track: Sunshine
Relaxing Indi pop
6.6/10 fav: Punchbag
Indie, but different influences, and more nuanced than expected. A soft on the vocals, but good harmonies. Really good. 3.8
I really liked this album. It's kinda muffled and subdued in a very chill way. Some of it reminds me of Jack Johnson. Really good to listen to while doing a repetitive task with your hands, like stretching a canvas or doing the dishes.
Wow I'm not sure how I've never heard of these guys. Reminds me heavily of stuff like The Unicorns and of Montreal which is my JAM. This is super funky and fun. I want the vinyl.
Yeah! I dug it! Never heard of these folks before, but I might have to check out more of their stuff.
Electro-dream pop. Very chill.
Awesome album, very chill
Bees record was good. Relaxing all the way through. Very zen
so, it has a song from, maybe, a wes anderson film? or a tarantino film? or was it just an indie darling in 2002? the song im talking about is portuguese, they are british, there is dub, jazz, and postrock on this album. wtf is going on? for seers (serious)? it was pleasant enough.
Très relax, mais un peu trop molasse
I vaguely remember hearing the Bees on KEXP, mainly because they had to go by A Band of Bees in the US. Strikes me as another indie-rock flash in the pan from the early 2000s that made it on this list because they were from the UK. They were ok, I didn't dislike them. They just didn't strike me as some kind of must-listen experience.
Cool background jazz that never calls too much attention to itself
Pleasant enough. Sunny, relaxed, fun to listen to. But the clear standout track is A Minha Menina, which is a barely-altered cover of a track by Os Mutantes Mutantes. Why is this album a must-listen? 2.5 stars, rounded up for being fun.
I remember being at a party in Enmore one night in the noughties & asking the hostess who we were listening to on the hi-fi. It was The Bees, who I’d never heard of. I was quite smitten by them. I couldn’t tell you which album it was. In the years that followed I picked up their 2nd & 3rd cd’s, but I’d never heard this, their debut album, before now. It’s totally engaging. And well named. There are so many summery melodies here. Maybe that’s an Isle of Wight influence. But they (there were only 2 of the band on this recording) were not confined to one approach. The dub sound on No Trophy; the almost calypso approach on Binnel Bay; and the wonderful cover version of Os Mutantes’ A Minha Menina, which forced me to drag out my Best Of O.M. cd, to compare the 2. The Bees do a great job with it. I really enjoyed this.
Loose, like a record written after smoking a good bowl and kind of just... letting it out. There's a good mash-up of genres, with a wide variety of instruments thrown around. It's nice, but fails to capture my attention a ton. Favorite tracks: "Punchbag", "Lying In the Snow"
Indie que apresenta a felicidade com toques jamaicanos e ainda fez uma versão para "A Minha Menina" do BenJor.
Decent but unremarkable Indie rock album that went places on some of those songs
Very very chill, but nothing remarkable.
I love the dreamy sound a lot of these songs have, but the lyrics are really meh.
Lovely background fluff
Confession time: "Punchbag" and "A Minha Menina" were the first MP3s I ever downloaded, probably illegally via Limewire. I listened to them a lot, in the same way that I watched "Spaceballs" a lot because it was the only VHS tape we had. So I was kind of dreading this album, but I actually liked it. It has a lot of variety and it's definitely straddling multiple genres without losing its balance. Still not sure why some white middle-class guys from England are trying to be Mexican though?
Curiós si més no. Banda indie pop de començaments de mil.leni, filosofia lo-fi, arranjaments preciosistes per decorar unes cançons que pretenen portar-nos a un capvespre d'estiu recostats al sol; ajudar-nos a no pensar en res més que la vida és bonica, de vegades
A lil Jack Johnson, a lil White Stripes. Not unpleasant but not for me.
a perfectly pleasant album, but to me, ultimately, nothing really to write home about. it's a very good vibe album, very chill, but unfortunately just not incredibly interesting songwriting-wise or otherwise. i can't see myself listening to this one again, unless i am really in need of some chill-sounding background music, and even if so, i think there's other stuff i would prefer to listen to.
Kind of whimsical, jazzy, soft rock, poppy?
Melodic sunshine-y music that's enjoyable at the time, and entirely forgettable afterwards.
This had some chill '70s vibes, and vacillated between bad kooky and decent kooky. It's not something I'm in a hurry to listen to again, but I guess I'll round up from 2.5.
I'd never heard of this band and had no idea what to expect. I definitely think this album was only included because somebody writing the book has a nostalgic soft spot for it. My husband and I listened during a drive to pick up his new car. We both felt the front half of the album was boring but that the back half was more engaging. I REALLY liked "A Minha Menina." I'm not surprised it's the only cover on the album since it was a departure from the rest of the album. This lands somewhere in the fog between a 3 and 4 for me.
Confused them with BeeGees lol. Feels just like a warm ray of sunshine, aptly named. Nice songs, but nothing really stuck with me
Het klinkt allemaal best ok, maar ik snap niet zo goed wat dit nou eigenlijk is. Beetje vanalles wat, zonder duidelijke lijn. Maar ach ik ben in een goede bui dus 3 sterren voor de moeite.
Decent enough indie rock. Not really my thing, but it’s brief and works well for background noise. Hardly essential but far from trash. C
Quiet and sweet
Nice, pleasant indie music from the early 2000s. I loved their Os Mutantes cover. Though I enjoyed listening to it, it's nothing extraordinary so I don't think it should go above 3 out of 5.
Somewhat scattershot with a mix of genres, but it all seems to mesh together somehow. This album would probably serve well as the soundtrack for an indie film. Interestingly, the most popular song, a Minha Menina was my least favourite and I liked the more low-key and chill songs like Zia or Sky holds the sun and Punchbag the best.
Bees draw upon different styles and genres and it holds together well, more or less. I like the two tracks that include a keyboard player, “Sunshine” and “Zia”. There’s a jazz influence that surfaces every once and a while and a few more songs like those two, or the final track would have been to my liking. On the other hand, the old-time reggae of “No Trophy” sounds way out of place (I was sure Spotify was on shuffle), as does the Jorge Ben cover “A Minha Menina”, but that track getting licensed for a Citroen car commercial is why we are listening to these guys today.
I was liking the percussion and reggae flavours. It was weird but cool. The beats and the album seemed to fall off a cliff after A Minha Menina
Have never even heard of them. Beginning to question myself re music. I mean, it was pleasant. The second half was better than the first half which was pretty boring. I may listen again but it’s not life changing
I liked this, some low-key alt-pop is how I'd describe it. Never heard of this group or album, and I can kind of understand why. Not an insult, they just seem like an unsung type of band. But the music is very pleasant, I enjoyed this one. Favorite tracks: Punchbag, BInnel Bay, This Town. Album art: Really like this picture, a cartoon luchador. This one looks familiar to me, not sure if that's just from seeing the albums that are on this list. But it's memorable, I dig it. 3.5/5
mellow and enjoyable
5/10. I feel like there was enough boring music out there already by 2001 that you wouldn't need to make this album, but I guess it's pretty good for what it is
Nice, but I don't think I'd make a point of listening to it
Almost so eclectic that it starts to be less cohesive, but still has its moments
Generally good but who are these guys???
I saw the Bees support Oasis at Pool Lighthouse in 2004. It was a great gig and I remember quite liking the buzzy little blighters in the support slot. I never knew they were rated as anything other than a standard early 2000s indie outfit, though. As it turns out, this is a really nice, eclectic, arty indie pop record. Lots of interesting and experimental sounds going on and a cover of Os Mutantes. Also cool to learn that the Bees are from Ventnor on the Isle of Wight - a lovely town with the warmest microclimate in the UK. The Botanical Gardens are well worth a visit and have an exceptional cafe. Rating: 3.5/5 Playlist track: Punchbag Date listened: 25/10/23
Sweet, nice, forgetable.
Good album, very much of a specific time and place though.
Something completely new to me, and interesting - eclectic, it might be said, to a fault - s little unfocused. But of really I liked it.
Started off strong with tracks 1 and somewhat of 2 then started to waver. If it was all like track 1 I could have seen this going into my rotation. It's a coagulation of styles that doesn't make a great soup.
First track is strong and it's no wonder they wanted to lead with it. Second song fits the mood of the first nicely, but when they suddenly attempt reggae on track 3, I start to question things. Track 4 sounds like outright filler. Track 5 has a little more going on, but just feels like slightly more ornate filler. They're more like "themes" than songs. The Os Mutantes cover adds nothing to the original, nor this album. They're simply musically globetrotting now. If the moniker weren't already taken by a much more deserving band, they should've called themselves The Tourists. The rest of the album is slow, boring, and forgettable. The vast majority of tracks feel like they were whipped together to support their opening single, rather than being a proper album. They should have spent more time developing things, and hired someone besides their goofy friend from high school to design the cover.
I like what's going on here, the multitude of influences making their way into an album that feels remarkably cohesive in spite of it. After reading a mention of Devendra Banhart on their wikipedia page I can't unheard the "freak folk" thing as well.
I generally have some idea who most of the artists are on the 1001 list but know nothing about this band. Playful album that is super easy to listen to. Very much enjoyed it.
Groovy laid-back 60s-style rock and roll, but from 2001!
I liked the music, didn’t care for the singing/lyrics.
I was worried this was going to be another dull 2000s British arena rock band kinda thing (looking at you, Muse and Elbow) but it was quirky and charming. The Os Mutantes cover was nice as well.