The likely lads return with their first album in 11 years, but is it a Libs classic?
Pop purity but not as we know it. Not the corporate-enhanced snowdriven purity of Wet Wet Wet or the studied, perverse purity of the Pet Shop Boys...
There is not a big idea behind 'Soft Explosives' or, indeed, any previous BC mini-classics dating back to '91. Just a liberal helping of goodwill translated into songs designed to uplift. Cassidy is one of that rare breed of songsmiths who love to share their musical inspiration rather than piss it from a great height.
It's all there on the whimsical 'Drunk On Beauty', the classical affectations of '1929' or the near a cappella of 'Zeppelin Catches Fire At Speed' and doesn't drop its guard throughout the album. 'Soft Explosives' picks up on pop's finest, most vulnerable and human moments, filters out the tweeness and ends up sounding like the kind of music helpless romantics watch sunsets to. Just after their partner has run off with their best mate. And the ache is so deep it rumbles.
Welcome to the world of sob-pop. Hankies at the ready.
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