Powerpop CD Review: Squeeze’s From the Cradle to the Grave
Squeeze is back with their first new material in 17 years. Written for the BBC comedy series From the Cradle to the Grave, the album by the same name consists of a dozen new songs set for release on October 2.
Written for a show with a nostalgic bend, the songs on From the Cradle to the Grave are mellower than earlier Squeeze efforts for the most part. The title track is the only song that isn’t brand new as it was recorded when the series was still in pilot stage. But it’s a bit up tempo and Glenn Tillbrook’s voice is always pleasing, if not pitch perfect.
“Nirvana”, the albums second song, opens up with the same piano bit that opens The Boomtown Rats’ “I Don’t Like Mondays” before lapsing into a faux-disco vibe. It and the next song, “Beautiful Game” (revolving around soccer as you probably guessed) are more in the storytelling vein of Difford’s lyrics from back in the day.
“Happy Days” picks up the pace a bit and finishes with a neat gospel bit – a really nice touch. The gospel theme carries into the next song, “Open”, leading into “Only 15”, a story about trying to find ones way through the awkward teen social scene.
Other favorites include “Sunny”, a violin led tale about adolescence and the series character’s life choices, “Haywire”, (which I presume is about adolescent hormones) with its country twang, and “Snap, Crackle & Pop”, with its uplifting retrospective.
Squeeze’s From the Cradle to the Grave will be released as a limited edition on CD and on vinyl, release date is set for October 2.
Note: Excluding live releases, Squeeze has 15 LPs to their credit. Cradle to the Grave is the first release since 2010’s Spot the Difference. Eight of Squeeze’s LPs have charted in the US, the most recent being Some Fantastic Place in 1993. Babylon and On charted highest, reaching #36 at it’s peak. Squeeze’s highest charting single in the US was “Hourglass”, peaking at #15. “Tempted”, the single they may be best known for and featuring lead vocals from Ace’s Paul Carack (produced by Elvis Costello, if memory serves) topped the charts at #49. Live releases include A Round and A Bout, Live at the Royal Albert Hall, Five Live: On Tour in America and Live at the Filmore.