Paul Carrack, who’d previously made his name as a solo artist as well as stints with Ace, Mike + the Mechanics, and, back in ’81, with Squeeze on East Side Story, returns to the fold. Along with regular members Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford, he is joined by “drummer Pete Thomas [of] Elvis Costello & the Attractions” (Woodstra). “The record’s oddest aspect is Difford’s near-absence; he doesn’t play a note on several tracks and he takes none of the lead vocals” (Alroy).
Carrack’s vocal contribution, though, is the absolute “blue-eyed soul” (Woodstra) gem Loving You Tonight. It is one of the best vocals ever delivered by Carrack and, while it doesn’t feel like a Squeeze song, does take on that classic it’s-a-phenomenal-pop-song-but-won’t-go-anywhere-vibe that has so maddeningly plagued the band’s entire career.
Once again, Squeeze shoot themselves in the foot with their choice of Third Rail as the first single, at least in the U.K. While a decent slice of “melodic power pop” (Woodstra), it is nowhere close to the more obvious Everything in the World. That song is the album’s easiest listen; it jumps out and says “I’m a pop hit waiting to happen!” Then again, like most of Squeeze’s pop hits, it is still waiting to happen. The song was released in the U.S. and, not surprisingly, went nowhere.
The title cut was a single as well and it fits better. This is a wonderfully crafted song that catches the listener’s attention with its smooth style and lyrics a cut above the average song.
There’s also ”Keith Wilkinson's surprise vocal spotlight” (Alroy) on True Colours (The Storm), a song that startling “turns out to be a reggae sendup” (Alroy).
Elsewhere on the album is the cleverly titled Pinocchio, which never mentions its namesake, but eludes to the famous puppet with one line: “I used to come home late and lie, lie, lie.”
The album is peppered with a few more songs that the listener will tap or sway along with as the song plays (It’s Over, Cold Shoulder, and Jolly Comes Home), but fail to list as entries in the canon of Squeeze classics.
Which pretty much sums up the album. This is hardly vital; it is, after all, “another in a series of commercial sleepers, but definitely worth a listen” (Woodstra).