[Release date 02.10.15]
Squeeze return with their first album of new songs since 1998. The impetus for this has come from radio and TV veteran Danny Baker’s memoir being made into a TV series. Squeeze have provided a soundtrack of songs to go with the period the series is set, namely the mid-late 1970′s and taking the book as their cue for most of the song’s themes.
Squeeze mainstays Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford, are joined by drummer Simon Hanson, keyboards player Stephen Large and relative newcomer Lucy Shaw sharing bass duties with John Bentley, who has now left the band. There are a few guests including a couple of Nine Below Zero band members in Mark Feltham and Dennis Greaves.
Being a Squeeze album there is plenty of jaunty, upbeat pop from the title track through to the 70′s disco beat with strings on ‘Nirvana’ (which has a piano intro lifted straight from a Boomtown Rats classic!). ‘Happy Days’ has been released as the single and it is the most instant song on here, although to be fair Difford and Tilbrook don’t pen songs that lack appeal.
‘Beautiful Game’ is a misty eyed look at the football from the 50′s and 60′s. As Danny Baker is a Millwall fan, so unlikely they ever had any glory days and only got misty eyed when running from away fans.
‘Sunny’ is a lovely mix of ELO-approved strings and some 70′s musical sounds, on a song that recalls the sunnier side of living through the 1970′s. ‘Honeytrap’ deserves to be another single with an ice cream van riff, okay it is most probably a keyboard but it does sound like an ice cream van! The harmonica playing of Mark Feltham gives the song a real kick midway through.
The good thing about this album is that although the majority of the songs form a soundtrack to a TV series, the songs stand fine on their own. Yes there is a heavy nostalgia and love-in with the 1970′s; however this is where Squeeze come into their own detailing the small parts of everyday life and creating perfect pearls of pop. ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
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