“Perhaps the accolades from East Side Story and the constant Lennon/McCartney comparisons went to their head, or maybe the strain of constant touring sapped…their energy and better judgment…Sweets from a Stranger suffers from self-conscious sophistication, overambition, and general lack of direction. With previous albums, Difford and Tilbrook were able to make incisive observations on British life; the same holds true here, but the alcohol-soaked imagery and chaos between the lines of songs also reveals much about the internal problems of the band” (Woodstra).
“With Carrack replaced by the faceless Don Snow, it hints at problems to come” (Alroy). Not surprisingly following the “release of this album and an accompanying tour, the group disbanded, with Difford and Tilbrook recording a duo album before reconvening Squeeze in 1985” (half.ebay.com).
Having said that, “this is another tastefully produced pop album in the style of the last two” (Alroy). Since their weak debut, the band have “slowly moved from…high-octane new wave pop…to blue-eyed soul” (half.ebay.com). Still present are “Chris Difford's vision and a sense of poetics perfectly matched with Glenn Tilbrook's Beatles/Tin Pan Alley sense of melody and chord changes” (half.ebay.com). “Again, the songwriting plumbs the familiar themes of loss and love” (half.ebay.com).
“The single Black Coffee in Bed didn't even crack the British Top 40, even though it's quite memorable, with the same crafty doo wop vocals and snappy pop production that made ‘Tempted’ such a success” (Alroy).
Also worthy of note are “the complexly orchestrated Tongue Like a Knife…with a clever snippet of ‘My Favorite Things’ on the fade – it's much like later efforts by XTC…Points of View and His House Her Home both sound like Costello's up-tempo, Beatles-inspired ballads…I Can't Hold On and I've Returned effectively steal Costello's over-driven rock formula, with lively bass lines and complex song structures” (Alroy).
Squeeze still put out a better record than most bands could ever hope to achieve, proving that even though “the album is certainly flawed, an average Squeeze album is still pretty good…when it hits…it really hits” (Woodstra).