Pop/Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, College Rock, Contemporary Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock

Album Review

One of Squeeze's most mature and thoughtful albums, 1991's Play might be a bit pretentious in spots -- the liner notes are written out as a theatre script, with the songs laid out as dialogue -- but it's probably Squeeze's best post-reunion album. Shorn of the misguided experiments of Cosi Fan Tutti Frutti and the naked chart ambitions of Babylon and On and Frank, Play is a simple and low-key collection of songs charting (loosely; this is less of a concept album than many reviews claimed at the time) the dissolution of a love affair. Reduced to a quartet by Jools Holland's departure for a career as a BBC television presenter (the group's South London homeboy Steve Nieve, tour keyboardist Matt Irving, and more implausibly, Bruce Hornsby provide the keyboards), the group play with a loose, R&B-inflected casualness. Producer Tony Berg, unfortunately, occasionally obscures that character by drowning the songs in strings and mass backing vocals (including special appearances by Michael Penn, Wendie Colter, and Spinal Tap's Michael McKean and Christopher Guest!), but the Difford/Tilbrook songs are mostly strong enough to withstand the onslaught. "The Truth" and the downcast "Walk a Straight Line" are particular highlights.
Stewart Mason, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Satisfied
  2. Crying in My Sleep
  3. Letting Go
  4. The Day I Get Home
  5. The Truth
  6. House of Love
  7. Cupid's Toy
  8. Gone to the Dogs
  9. Walk a Straight Line
  10. Sunday Street
  11. Wicked and Cruel
  12. There Is a Voice