Picks and Pans Review: Play

updated 09/23/1991 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/23/1991 AT 01:00 AM EDT


While Squeeze's strength has always been the Lennon-McCartney composing style of singer Glenn Tilbrook and guitarist Chris Difford, usually that strength translated into a few great singles scattered on unfocused albums. This package is something else. Not since the band's East Side Story in 1981 has everything come together so well.

The array of crafty pop tunes creates a record good enough to sound like long-lost White Album material. Whether it's a ballad, "Letting Go," the vaguely countryish "The Truth" or a neosoul soothie, "Cupid's Toy," the Squeeze tradition of irresistible singles continues. Moreover, Play hangs together thematically. Nearly every song here is like an Oprah segment set to music—tales of Men Who Can't Commit or Men Who Commit and the Women Who Wish They Hadn't.

The music generates good feeling; the wordplay is witty. Squeeze has lived up to its promise. (Reprise)

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