Love Records [Release date 13.10.17]
‘The Knowledge’ is Squeeze’s third album since they reunited back in 2007 and 2015′s ‘Cradle To The Grave’ received rave reviews, plus saw the band gain more exposure as the album formed the soundtrack to the TV series of the same name based on Danny Baker’s early life story.
The main engine room of Squeeze is still present, namely Glen Tilbrook and Chris Difford (who has a recently published memoir out which is well worth a read), who are joined by long standing band members drummer Simon Hanson and keyboards player Stephen Large. These are joined by two new recruits, bass player Yolanda Charles and Dirty Vegas frontman Steve Smith on percussion/backing vocals.
Never ones to shy away from giving their take on the current state of the nation, we have ‘A&E’ looking at the plight of the NHS and how the staff keep on keeping on despite cutbacks, and on ‘Rough Ride’ the line ‘Austerity, austerity is that all you have to give to me?’, gives a damning verdict on society now. But in typical Squeeze fashion both are wrapped in sweet and memorable melodies. ‘Rough Ride’ is a musical tour de force with an operatic vocal, the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS choir and a children’s choir.
The band’s humour is present as well as ‘Please Be Upstanding’ is a jolly ditty about erectile dysfunction and ‘Albatross’ looks at the record collector trying to recapture lost youth through vinyl. ‘Departure Lounge’ should be the next single, a wonderful melody and a mellotron is used to recreate the departure lounger tannoy and taking off.
Squeeze are continuing their purple patch they started on ‘Cradle To The Grave’ and ‘The Knowledge’ will delight fans new and old. Pop with a message and memorable melodies doesn’t get much better than this. ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
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