Search - Prefab Sprout :: Protest Songs

Protest Songs
Prefab Sprout
Protest Songs
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1

Japanese only 2009 remastered paper sleeve pressing. Sony.


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CD Details

All Artists: Prefab Sprout
Title: Protest Songs
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Sony/Bmg Int'l
Original Release Date: 1/1/2006
Re-Release Date: 2/1/2001
Album Type: Import
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Style: Adult Contemporary
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1


Album Description
Japanese only 2009 remastered paper sleeve pressing. Sony.

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CD Reviews

The Forgotten album
Lypo Suck | Hades, United States | 05/20/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"With the heaps of neglect inflicted on this album, it's pretty much been left to a fate of being overshadowed by the attention-hogging albums that surround it chronologically. And that really blows because in my humble opinion, this album is every bit as brilliant as "Jordan", "Swoon", and "Steve McQueen". You see, what happened was singer/songwriter Paddy McCloon, being the insanely prolific genius that he is, had an album's worth of tunes ready right on the heels of their sophomore effort, "Steve McQueen". But, in good old fascist major label tradition, CBS thought releasing it so quickly after "McQueen" would oversaturate the market with Sprout stuff. Plus the scumbags at CBS also thought it didn't quite live up to the commercial accessibility of "McQueen" (which was more of a critical than commercial success anyhow). So, with the album threatened to a life of rotting in its reel-to-reel cannister, only to be heard by diehards in the format of mysteriously produced "Smile"-type bootlegs, Paddy and co. went on to record the garishly commercial (but still pretty good) "Langley Park". Fortunately, "Protest Songs" did live to see the light of day, though it had to wait 'til right before the release of "Jordan" (CBS using it to fill the 2 year gap it took to make "Jordan"). And even then, it was only issued as an import. To those unaware of its origins, "Protest Songs" must have seemed stylistically out of place when stuck between "Langly Park" and "Jordan", but really, who cares? What *is* consistent is the quality of Paddy's infectiously melodic songwriting. Some critics cut this one down because they felt the production sounded rough and unfinished, but geez, "Protest Songs" is *still* every bit as slick as any other 80s melodic guitar pop albums of the day (think Go-Betweens, the Smiths, REM, etc...). In fact, I'd take it a step further and say that "Protest Songs" BENEFITS from the fact that it *isn't* over-produced like the others, and has much *less* of that garrish 80s gloss that almost ruined "Langley Park", and cuts back on those cheezy Thomas Dolby synths that make "McQueen" sound kind of dated. It's their most organic sounding album next to "Swoon", which is definitely a good thing. And the songs are top-notch Paddy concoctions throughout. From the wonderfully lilting and airy feel of "World Awake" and "Life of Surprises", to the rocking "Wicked Things", or the breath-takingly intimate, acoustic "Dublin", it's clear Paddy is in top form, and that's just the first half! "Tiffany's" throws one of those deceptively simple yet sublimely complex and spine-tinglingly beautiful melodies over an irresistable, powerhouse, shuffle-y 1/2 beat, while "Diana" slows the pace down and enters into that wondeful, late-night jazzy atmosphere, supporting some bizarre lyrics about Princess D. "Talking Scarlet" is yet another gentle, gossamer pop gem, the lyrics of which take a first person glance at how the hunky town-priest Dimmesdale was gonna get Hester in the sack and still live with himself (lyrics which could be applied to any contemporary, self-loathing record geek who can't get a date). "'Til the Cows Come Home" is a slow yet punchy, atmospheric, reverb drenched, highly emotional experience. Like much of Paddy's work, it's incredibly dreamy, yet a certain tension is always broilimg just beneath the surface; just enough to keep the listener on his/her toes, and it never really succombs to laziness or excessive languid-ness. Please stop ignoring this album and treat it right; treat it like "Jordan" or "McQueen" and see how easily it rivals them."
Good early Prefab Sprout
Mons | Norrpan | 08/08/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The retrospectively released Protest Songs is a shy beast indeed, lurking in the middle of Prefab's initial purple patch of albums, notably Swoon, Steve McQueen and - at a push - From Here to Langley Park. After the crystal gloss production provided by Thomas Dolby helped give the album a leg up to recognition and acclaim, Prefab opted to produce Protest Songs themselves and the difference is humungous. Gone are the warm, semi-kitschy digiscapes à la Dolby. Instead the results sound sometimes veer closely to Demo City. The label refused to release it and forced Prefab to do another record, this time more commercial, please. Which they duly did, but that's another story.
Protest Songs is definitely worth checking out if you're into the band's earlier stuff - there's a devastatingly beautiful ballad called Dublin which must surely rank as one Paddy Mcaloon's top 10 songs. Trust me, it's a blinder. Diana (yes, it's about her adding poignance after her demise) is also a treat, which, though undermined by woeful production - has more hooks than Mike Tyson.
Opening song World Awake is way too subtle for instant titillation, and therefore perhaps not the ideal choice of first track. The end of World Awake is fabulous, though, with a slow fade of the type which was so successful on Jesse James Bolero off the Jordan: the Comeback album.
Life of Surpioises surfaced on Prefab's greatest hits package and is accessible fare but bordering on musical facileness.
Protest Songs doesn't gleam like some of the other albums (Andromeda Heights, some tracks of Jordan) and indeed is rough and ready (sort of) but there are enough ideas here to keep any devoted Prefab Sprout fan ecstatic.