Choke, the second studio album from The Beautiful South, brought together a fine collection of songs, which did their establishment as one of the finest original bands around no harm whatsoever.
On the one hand all the songs share a similar style and composition, they nearly all feature a big band - swing type sound with much emphasis on a good solid brass section, on the other hand they are all unique and creative they can all stand out on their own as credible songs in their own right.
Personal favourites include the gentle toe tapping "I think the answer's yes", the bluesy "Let love speak up itself" and the more raucous "I've come for my award". "The Rising of Grafton Street" is another great song; this instrumental offering has a real sound of the Housemartins running through it.
The only criticisms I can level is that another great favourite song, "Mother's Pride", with its fantastic bass line, is far too short and could have happily carried on for another couple of verses and the self indulgent "I Hate You (But You're Interesting)" probably wasn't necessary and doesn't really prove anything.
Final mention to "A Little Time" which I believe to still be their biggest hit to date, this lovely song of lost love has really stood the test of time very well and remains a great catchy tune.