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And Love for All

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Album Review

Abandoning entirely the folk-pop sound of the Lilac Time's first two albums, & Love for All is a worthwhile stylistic detour that results in the first genuinely excellent album of Stephen Duffy's career, including his earlier solo incarnation as Tin Tin. Just over half the album (seven of 12 songs) was produced by XTC's Andy Partridge, with John Leckie covering the others, and the overall sound is akin to Partridge and Leckie's collaboration on the Dukes of Stratosphear records, minus the more obvious '60s pop rip-offs. (Well, discounting "All for Love and Love for All," which cops subtle riffs from the Magical Mystery Tour era and name checks the Quarrymen in the first verse.) Duffy has never before acknowledged much of an interest in either psychedelia or '60s pop, yet his songs fit Partridge and Leckie's atmospheric production touches nicely. Adding a greater reliance on electric guitars and keyboards (mostly piano played by Cara Tivey) to the Lilac Time's formerly acoustic sound, & Love for All manages not only to not overwhelm Duffy's thoughtful lyrics, graceful melodies, or thin but effective vocals, but to enhance them. [The 2006 edition includes four bonus tracks, as well as a four-song BBC session.]

Biography

Formed: 1987 in Cornwall, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Following a brief solo career under both his own name and the moniker Tin Tin, Stephen Duffy put together the Lilac Time, which traded in his former synth pop excursions for pastoral, folky English pop strongly recalling Skylarking-era XTC. Joined by Mickey Harris, Nick Duffy, and Michael Giri, Duffy crafted several eclectic albums making use of traditional instruments, beginning with a self-titled debut in 1988. Released in 1989, Paradise Circus offered a bit of country & western influence, which...
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And Love for All, The Lilac Time
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