I can understand why even fans of DA tend to overlook this one. The first two feel cut from the same precious cloth. This was in some ways less quirky, charming and baroque*. Which is exactly why I was very disappointed when it first came out. Gradually over the years this little disc grew on me and burrowed its way into my soul to such an extent that - blasphemer! - it has become my favorite of the three. There is no point in going through this song by song...they're all perfect in their own way.
Okay, you talked me into it.
1. Um, can we just skip this one? I know everyone else loved it, but for me it's the only one that bores me. Did I say the album was perfect? You got me there. Technically speaking, I was lying. I just wanted you to buy the damn thing and stop bothering me.
2.3.4. All great straightforward but intense songs. The choruses of Lucy & Gaby alone are worth the price of admission. I dare you to attempt to extract those ear worms. Impossible. I enjoy the rest of the songs as well, but my-oh-my those gut wrenching choruses.
5. Brilliant and beautiful. Gorgeously spare but rich lyrics match the spare but rich instrumentation. My God this song paints a vivid portrait of heartbreak on a rainy morning at Waterloo station. In higher definition than any camera might ever hope to. One of their all time best songs. Please go YouTube it now. I'll wait. What the hell are you reading this for? I said go YouTube it. (Jesus, some people...)
.................SOME MINUTES LATER...................
See? I told you. And you are forgiven for doubting me, you son of a bitch.
6. Another bombastic chorus, ably aided by the honey hued pipes of Mr. Gilmour. Stunningly gorgeous vocals.
7. What? More wonderful vocal stylings from the 3? Surely we don't deserve it for the pittance paid.
8. Never heard the original. Don't actually wanna. It couldn't possibly compare. More elegant heartbreak gravitas a la Waterloo. Nicky's laying it on thick here, and I'm loving every second. But wait there's more - those wonderful "bap-bap-bap-ba-da-da-da-dah"s, ably aided by David G. Please just stop it. I can't take any more of this unspeakable beauty.
9. Lyrically, your by-the-numbers tree-hugger CO2 rant (not that that's a bad thing) but - wait for it - yet another (intentionally) ironic triumphal chorus. There's always a great payoff on this album, every time you think the verse is getting boring. Just gorgeous. (Did I use that word yet? If I didn't, I meant to on a couple of those songs above. And below.)
10. Alright, I admit it, this may be another low point of the album, but it's cinematic poignancy serves as a slightly eerie but effective transition. Also, DA's worst still beats the best of most bands. Pass given.
11. Yet another lean and elegant celebration of disappointment and sorrow. A wonderfully gentle closer in the vein of "One Dream" off the first album. As only they can do it. Perfect ending to an - ahem - perfect album.
Speaking to DA fans only - because after all who the hell else would be reading this? - please give this one a chance to work its magic on you. I know you don't believe me, but think how much joy the first two gave you. Isn't it worth 5 quid just to find out? Tell you what - if you don't like it, I'll refund you. Act now and I'll throw in an onion chopper. Now how much would you pay?
Ah, what difference does it make, no one's gonna read this anyways....
*It has been my personal observation that "baroque" is the perfect word to describe the music of DA, but only if you don't know what baroque means. To those who understand the word, it may in fact be the worst conceivable adjective ever misused about anything in existence.