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Argybargy (Deluxe Edition)

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Recensione album

If any one album were responsible for sowing the seeds of Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook's reputation as the new Lennon and McCartney, it's Argybargy, Squeeze's third album and undisputed breakthrough. Squeeze made a great leap forward between their awkward debut and its great sequel, Cool for Cats, but that distance is small compared to the gap between Cool for Cats and Argybargy. Cool for Cats was the work of a rock & roll band — one that lathered on the keyboards and herky-jerky rhythms, but these were kind of variations on one sound (if not quite one theme). Argybargy doesn't stay in one place; it's restless and crackling with colors, bursting into life with "Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)," a vivid portrait of a seaside vacation where Difford's vignettes are made all the more vivid by Tilbrook's bright, invigorating pop. As the band's chief melodicist, it's easy to place much of the weight of Squeeze's progression on either Tilbrook or perhaps the band as a whole, as one of the lingering impressions of Argybargy is its brilliant sparkle, how the pop gleams yet is muscular, yet Difford's storytelling and character sketches are improving at a rapid rate, too. This is not foreign territory for Difford — the previous album's "Up the Junction" was a remarkable story in miniature and it finds a near explicit single in this album's "Vicky Verky" — but he's honing his wit and sharpening his observations, heard clearly on the clutch of singles that drive the album: the aforementioned "Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)," the nervy breakup tune "Another Nail for My Heart," and the wonderfully wry "If I Didn't Love You," where Difford anticipates Nick Hornby's High Fidelity with his summation "Singles remind me of kisses/Albums remind me of plans."

Singles may give Argybargy momentum but this isn't just surface; the group stretches into some spacy territory on "I Think I'm Go Go," "Misadventure" bristles with pent-up excitement, "There at the Top" bounces to a Motown beat, and "Separate Beds" is one of Difford and Tilbrook's best tunes, capturing the awkwardness of staying at a girlfriend's parents' house for the first time. Not the typical subject for a pop song and the best indication of how Squeeze were deepening. They had not yet left their rock & roll roots behind — they can kick out agreeable throwaways like "Farfisa Beat" without missing a step, and they give Jools Holland some time to play the boogie-woogie on "Wrong Side of the Moon" — but with Argybargy it was clear that Squeeze were at the top of the pack among new wave popsters, and that their sardonic yet lively voice was unique among any pop group before or since. [Universal U.K.'s deluxe 2008 reissue of Argybargy expanded the 11-track album to a whopping 36 tracks over two CDs. Most of the bonus material comes from a March 9, 1980, show at the Hammersmith Odeon that encompasses the second disc and it's a corker, proof that Squeeze were a hell of a rock & roll band at this stage; songs from Squeeze and Cool for Cats are given more muscle and the Argybargy tunes sound more vigorous here. The first disc is expanded by nine tracks, all of which maintain the high quality of the album: there are the unreleased "Funny How It Goes" and "Go," both initially reissued on a 1997 expansion of the LP; the jazzy, Elvis Costello-ish "Pulling Mussels" B-side "What the Butler Saw"; a previously unreleased version of "Someone Else's Heart"; "Going Crazy," the B-side of "Christmas Day"; an alternate take of "Farfisa Beat" that's pretty close to the original; the demo of the galloping "Library Girl"; and Tilbrook's spare demo of "If I Didn't Love You." It's a generous set and one that's necessary for any Squeeze obsessive, of which there are many.]

Biografie

Formato(a): 1974

Genere: Rock

Anni di attività: '70s, '80s, '90s, '10s

As one of the most traditional pop bands of the new wave, Squeeze provided one of the links between classic British guitar pop and post-punk. Inspired heavily by the Beatles and the Kinks, Squeeze was the vehicle for the songwriting of Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook, who were hailed as the heirs to Lennon and McCartney's throne during their heyday in the early '80s. Unlike Lennon and McCartney, the partnership between Difford and Tilbrook was a genuine collaboration, with the former writing the...
Bio completa
Argybargy (Deluxe Edition), Squeeze
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