Monday, January 8, 2018

Squeeze - The Knowledge

Released in October of 2017, The Knowledge proves Squeeze is still the champagne of pop music. The 12 songs feature Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford’s clever lyrics and irresistible melodies, as well as their impressive harmony vocals. Drummer Simon Hanson and keyboards player Stephen Large from the 2015 album Cradle To The Grave are back onboard, and there are enough guest musicians and vocalists to fill a continent.

Like wisdom, The Knowledge seems to have come with age, as Tilbrook and Difford reflect on the later stages of life; for themselves and the people they encounter. Their observations can be poignant, as on the energetic “Innocence In Paradise” and the acoustic “Departure Lounge,” or laced with wry humor, like “Please Be Upstanding,” which seems to be about a couple reigniting their sex life via a Viagra prescription. “Albatross” is a short and funny portrait of a vinyl junkie whose, “youthful past still floats around, both in his head and in his sounds.”

This latest effort explores current social issues as well. On “Rough Ride,” Squeeze takes lines like, “Either you’re rich or it’s tough” and “Austerity, austerity, is that all you have to give to me?” and drops them into an improbable but engaging mix of funk, opera, and Broadway musical. “A and E” turns a trip to the emergency room into a Motown-fueled call for more medical funding. Mostly, The Knowledge is another serving of classic Squeeze. “Patchouli” is an appealing look back at a teenage romance, and “Two Forks” is a rollicking celebration of people being able to overcome their differences.

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