Glenn Tilbrook - Happy Ending

Squeeze-lite? No, a full-fat Deptford family album

Half of the Squeeze songwriting
partnership unleashes his fifth
solo album. Quirky you’d
expect – no drums or electric
guitars, for a start – but the
words jump from the booklet,
suggesting either Glenn’s been
learning from Chris Difford or
has been hiding his lyrical light
under a bushel.

Squeeze are currently
collaborating with Danny Baker
on an East London-based TV
series that will feature more
new material. Mud Island is
the outstanding lyric in this
regard, but the over-busy
arrangement detracts. The
next track, Rupert, features
a small Tilbrook (Wesley)
reciting a spoken introduction
prior to a nice acoustic pop
song. Listen hard, though, and
the lyric is about the News
International phone-hacking
scandal; what was the song
called again? Straight after
that, Everybody Sometimes
addresses the banking crisis
and those who sought to
avoid responsibility – once
more, comment comes
wrapped in a strummy pop
wrapper. Dennis is about
doomed Beach Boy Dennis
Wilson, while track eight, the
nursery rhyme-esque Bongo
Bill, is co-written with another
son, Leon.

Happy Ending is part
newspaper, part family
album, with more ideas than
it knows what to do with. While Tilbrook is probably
delighted to be making a
living out of music nearly four
decades on, the album title is
surely premature. No Squeeze
fan is going to feel short-changed.

3 stars 3 stars 3 stars

Quixotic | QUIXCD 0022

Reviewed by Michael Heatley
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