Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Sweets From a Stranger
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
2007 digitally remastered edition of the album that followed up the band's stellar success with East Side Story. While both songwriters Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford acknowledge it was a forced effort, the sessions wer... more »
2007 digitally remastered edition of the album that followed up the band's stellar success with East Side Story. While both songwriters Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford acknowledge it was a forced effort, the sessions were once again produced in part by Elvis Costello and still managed to produce some classics, like the global hit single "Black Coffee In Bed", the energetic "I've Returned" and the torch-like "When The Hangover Strikes". The original album tracks are augmented with the one-off hit single "Annie Get Your Gun", the previously released bonus songs "I Can't Get Up Anymore" and "When Love Goes To Sleep", the b-sides "I'm At Home Tonight", "Elephant Girl", "Spanish Guitar" and rarities "Tomorrow's World (Tilbrook's demo of "His House Her Home"), the demo of "Whenever We Meet" and "Last Call For Love". Universal.
An extra star for effort--the bonus tracks make this essenti
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 08/07/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Although hardly the way the band should have gone out (the first time at least), the fifth album by Squeeze has more than enough sweets to keep fans listening. Difford and Tilbrook have gone on record as saying this album may be a bit more "forced" than "East Side Story" but the best songs measure up to the best from that album. The bonus tracks earn this fine if underrated album an extra star based on the quality of the material. The album probably would have been stronger if there was a stronger produced there to help weed out the weaker songs from the album but Phil McDonald does such a fine job of translating the band's sound to the record (or CD in this case) that it's a minor issue.
The pressure was on Difford and Tilbrook to make that break through album. WIth producer Philip McDonald and orchestral arranger Del Newman on board, they came awfully close to making an album that was as good as its predecessor. Paul Carrack was out (he had recorded a solo album and was on tour if I recall correctly)and keyboardist Don Snow was in. While I miss Carrack's soulful vocals, the band does a terrific job with some strong tunes.
This remastered edition sounds comparable to the 1997 remasters done by Glenn Tilbrook and Roger Wake what makes this essential are the bonus tracks. We get a great selection of b-sides, demos and singles that double the length of the album. "Annie Get Your Gun" which was released as a single and SHOULD have been here is included along with its b-side "I'm Home Tonight". The two b-sides from the previous edition "I Can't Get Up Anymore" and "When Love Goes to Sleep" are also included. Some of these tracks have appeared on various compilations but they find their rightful place again with the album that spawned them. "Tomorrow's World" is a demo of His "House Her Home".
I'd strongly recommend this remaster for the bonus tracks. As mentioned the sound is comparable to the 1997 reissue and while it lacks the dynamic range of the original CD release, it sounds pretty good overall.
In Touch With The Soul Of Squeeze
Andre S. Grindle | Brewer Maine | 05/29/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"At the time that the Squeeze album previous to this East Side Story the collabortive effort of Difford/Tillbrook with Elvis Costello,both in creatively furtile periods in their musical career,were working their way around a series of almost Beatle-like pop songs from a large variety of sources. At this point the production is not handled by Costello anymore and again,their sound has changed. In 1982 Squeeze had become a very contemporary pop band with a lot of ideas,a lot of melodies and loads of lyrical complexities.On songs such as "Out Of Touch","Stranger The Stranger On The Shore","Out On The Dance Floor" and "My Very First Dance" showcase the influece of the then burgeoning "Brit-Funk" sound,with these echoey polyrhythms,not to mention a strange and rather dark harmonics.In the case of the melody and lyrics they are about like everything else here;rather dark and reflective. But luckily very mature:there isn't any big time angst here,just some wondeful,deep poetic reflections that turn all the sadness into something beuatiful.And that is a place where the dark side of pop lyrics work best to my way of thinking.Some of the songs here,including the bonus tracks are kind of...well poppy retread tunes in the style of the previous album but nice in a simple Beatley kind of way like on "I Can't Hold On" or the quircky bonus cut "Elephant Girl".Other tunes like the majestic "Tongue Like A Knife" make excellent use of the orchestra by expressing irritation more by means of expressiveness than anger. Two big hits are presented here too,one from the album and one as a bonus single."Black Coffee In Bed",a very nice retro Motownish turn of music and "Annie Get Your Gone",Squeeze's first real foray into the synth-pop/new wave genre that was not exactly typical of them.On the softer side again both the album and the bonus material have something to offer,the cloudy hazziness of "When The Hangover Strikes" is one of my favorite songs here-everything there just has the right musical flavor to it."Last Call For Love",of the bonus cuts gets a similar feeling only from a more rock ballad outlook.As with Elvis Costello your average Squeeze album is going to come off as somewhat inconsistant because of the ecclectic musical interests of both artists,and this album is no exception to the rule. But especially,for me when the sounds of jazz,R&B,synth-pop and even polyrhythmic funk enter the picture this really is impressive stuff. But even if you enjoy basic 60's inspired pop in the vein of The Beatles,The Hollies or whoever there's a lot of that here for you too. So you get pretty much everything good about the many diverse sounds bands like Squeeze have to offer in their type of pop music."