Given Bob Mould's reputation for searing electric rock & roll, it may be easy to think that the title of File Under: Easy Listening is ironic, and it is to a certain extent. But beneath the loud guitars lie the friendliest, most relaxed pop songs Mould had ever written. "Your Favorite Thing" and "Can't Help You Anymore" are two of Mould's most direct, pop-oriented songs, driven by instantly memorable melodies and hooks; they are also the most conventional songs on the record. The best moments come when Sugar push the boundaries a bit, whether it's on the country-rock of "Believe What You're Saying," the swirling "What You Want It to Be" and "Company Book," the searching ballad "Panama City Motel," or "Explode and Make Up," which bristles even at its most delicate moments. Mould throws in one classic spite-fueled rocker, "Granny Cool," but the record's finest moment is "Gee Angel," a powerhouse melodic scorcher.
Following the publication of Jules Verne's novel Around the World in Eighty Days in 1873, Americans had an increasing interest in travel. World travel was becoming even easier with the faster steamships of the day. In 1888, Nellie Bly, a feisty, investigative reporter for Joseph Pulitzer's New York World newspaper, pitched a story idea of traveling around the world in 75 days to beat the record achieved by Phileas Fogg, the character in Verne's book. While the editor thought it a great idea, he naturally thought the trip should be made by a man. The idea was shelved for over a year.