Picks and Pans Review: Difford & Tilbrook

updated 08/20/1984 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/20/1984 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Difford & Tibrook

Squeeze, the effervescent and soulful English pop band, broke up in December '82 after a dispirited final album, but its mainspring—the singing and songwriting team of Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook—remains intact and is rewound with energy. Squeeze built its considerable reputation on lithe, danceable rhythms and sinuous, sensuous melodies. The band was always ebullient, but in its 1980-82 heyday played with a honed urgency. Now Difford & Tilbrook have recaptured that feeling while developing further their ornate and fluid sense of melody. In fact, the shape and feel of melodies such as Love's Crashing Waves are almost inseparable from the character of Tilbrook's slippery, glistening voice. He can loop and swoop anywhere in his range, as he does to tingling effect at the end of Man for All Seasons. The duo's debt to soul and funk is obvious, but they refresh rather than rehash. Lyrics are feverishly creative if a little too elusive, but at least there is identifiable subject matter. Mostly it's relationships, but the jaunty Wagon Train describes a prairie ambush following which "not even the wind from the rocks is left breathing." Good line. Good album. (A&M)

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