Classy pop? No, something far more. Pop, no matter how classy, doesn't weather 20 years like this and still have the power to move. This album is one that I have listened to repeatedly over that whole time. At times, it has real touches of sublimity. There is real pain here, a longing for a better world that is always somewhere just beyond reach, a world from which we are barred by our neuroses and emotional attachments. And there are moments of redemption too, when it seems we can almost escape, listening to Caruso or hearing shouts from the playground.
Far from an Ikea exercise in pop style, this is a work of extraordinary beauty and maturity.