Saturday, 28 September 2013

Lovesong: Prefab Sprout: Crimson/Red

"I'm in love with Susan, Bill
Her smile is like a fairground
I'm basking in the glow...
I let my feelings show
Let your feelings show
Trumpets come, trumpets go
It's amazing what gets left out in the snow..."

It's great to hear that Paddy MacAloon has a new album out on October 7th.
'Crimson/Red' is actually a Prefab Sprout release, but that seems to be nowt but a vehicle for Paddy these days.
It's an increasingly rare occurrence and is to be celebrated, given the stories of Macca's failing health.
Let's hope that he's not as close to The Lord as is reported, although the voice of God now sports the beard of God; and the songs are indeed heavenly.
I've had a pirate of most of these tunes for awhile in the form of a bootleg (do we stall call them that?) 'The Devil Came A Calling'. There's no reinvention, you know what you will be getting, more of the same. But when 'the same' is a continuation of a majestic run that's been drip fed to us ever since the wondrous 'Swoon' you know that you are in for an aural treat. Unless the songs have been totally re-imagined from 'The Devil...' (not to these ears), there are less dodgy saxophones and radio 2 arrangements this time around. They twitch with lyrical vitality; polished gems of melodic genius.
I don't use that word lightly.
Those shaking hands have definitely been stroking His beard...

Read more about the album over on the exemplary Direct Current site where you can hear a couple of tunes; 'The Devil Came a Calling' and the sublime 'The Songs of Danny Galway', plus a fan made video of 'The Best Jewel Thief in the World'.

The Direct Current piece also shares this link to Paul Lester's excellent interview in The Guardian, in which Paddy talks about his new album:
"I was 28 when 'Steve McQueen' came out, you know? I'm double that age now. Every 28 years I come up with a good 'un."

You can buy/pre order 'Crimson/Red' here.

If you need convincing that it's a good investment, have a listen below to what is apparently referred to as an 'audio mash up'.
It's a bit like calling bisque 'a soup'...


  1. Hmmm.... I'm still a bit puzzled by the whole thing. Whether the clips we're listening to are final mixes or not? You know I love Paddy, and it's always a treat to hear new material, but I really wish he'd put together a proper studio band, as well as seek smart outside production. As much as "Gunman & Other Stories" was perhaps a bit weak in the tunes department, the production was sparkling. "Let's Change The World" suffered considerably because of the demo quality and "do it yourself" approach, and I fear Crimson/Red may as well. Some of the manufactured synth sounds seem pretty dated to me. And what's the deal with the cheezy melodica/fake harmonica/whateveritis? I guess I was so blown away by the stunning acoustic versions Paddy did for the remastered Steve McQueen, that I'm expecting more; I'm finding the stuff "from the vault" very retro. We shall see!

  2. I suspect that his hermitage and self confessed megalomania has rendered him a one man band, and therefore prone to making choices that are limited by the confines of his garret. I agree with you about 'Let's Change the World's clatter. I'm always confused by dated synths these days. Unsure whether the production is dated, reverential or winking ironically. Have a listen to the excellent Emiliana Torrini's latest 'Tooka' for evidence of the latter...

  3. I've been listening to this since mid June. The leaked version is the same as the soon to be released album.It's just Paddy, his guitars and his synths. I think it's doubtful we'll ever get the Sprouts back together, more the pity, but I'm still savouring this fantastic album. The melodies and wordplay show Paddy still has it, and it is something he's recorded over the past 18 months even though it does sound 'old'. I know the computer/synths Paddy uses are pretty ancient!
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