This record - fun, in places manic, catchy and clever - sounds like the band's first realisation that they were getting older.
The songs "Hourglass", "Footprints", "In Today's Room", even "Cigarette of a Single Man", all sound like they were suddenly panicking about the passage of time (which is fair enough, they'd passed their first flushes of youth, and were trying to appeal to a predominantly young market), and the reviewer who said that this sounds like a group "desperately" trying to break back into the big time has a point.
But they do it well. "Hourglass" is terrifically catchy, good to dance to, and even better to sing along with; "Trust Me" is a passable attempt at a rock n' roll number; and even the despised "8535937" is still a really good pop song. Other than the singles, there's bounce, fun and a spring in almost every step, from the Beatles-esque "Tough Love" to the impossibly enjoyable "Striking Matches".
On a less positive note, the band does appear to attempt to keep the pace going throughout the entire album, a mistake surely, leaving us with hardly any variation in energy and a couple of forced-sounding album fillers (tracks 6, 9 and 10 spring to mind). But over all this is still an enjoyable set of songs. It's just a huge pity that it was made in 1987, because the production values now sound quite dated and obviously a product of late-80s pop. If you like that sort of thing, fine, but it does sound quite jarring when compared with the bulk of Squeeze's work, and takes away - slightly - from the enjoyment you get from listening to it.
This said, it was a huge hit, and in my opinion rightly so. It contains one of their more enduring singles, and when taken in the context of their previous two albums demonstrates that there was certainly still life in the ageing dogs yet!