Mons | Norrpan | 08/20/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Seminal 80s British alternative rock. Polite, quirky, sophiticated, inspired, with velvety hooks and melodies of incomparable sweetness (comparable to Lightning Seeds, Aztec Camera). After a promsing beginning with two outstanding albums (Swoon, Two Wheels Good), record industry pressure was brought to bear and Sprout had to go more commercial and mainstream - goodbye originality and melodies; hello easy-listenuing shmaltz (From Langley Park to Memphis). Typically, this compilation overlooks some of the bands best early moments, e.g. the debut singles, Lions In My Own Garden or Don't Sing, and prefers to concentrate on the shmaltz of All the World Loves Lovers and I Remember That. Some of you may like the later stuff - my mom loves it - I, however, prefer the angular brilliance of the first two albums and would therefore recommend you staying well away from Life of Surprises and checking out the Collection compilation which is both more representative and has some good early toons."
Ian Johnston | Independence, MO USA | 12/16/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A wonderful collection of Prefab's materials, showcasing many of the hit tunes (in the UK) that made the band famous. In addition to the "greatest hits" aspect of this disc, the fans are treated to two new tunes "If You Don't Love Me" (my fave) and "The Sound of Crying", as well as the rare gem "A Life of Surprises" from the hard-to-find "Protest Songs" album. Great stuff! Many cool album tracks are omitted, sadly, and some b-sides or other extras would have really been nice, but there is only so much space on a disc of this kind. For newbies, you can't go wrong with this CD! Dig in and enjoy the surreal songwriting craft of Paddy McAloon and company!!"