Oh lord, This happened to me in the 90s - over expectation leading to disappointment. The Roses are coming back in 2012 and I am giddy with excitement. So much so I dusted this down and gave it a spin today. And I find myself asking "why was I disappointed?".
This is a cracking rock album, starting with three of their very finest songs. Breaking Into Heaven is a huge uplifting opener, Driving South goes for the blues, and then 10 Storey Love Song starts chiming and we could be back in the grooves of the (utter classic) debut. There is a dip next, Daybreak is a formless shuffle that goes nowhere, and Straight To The Man sounds unfinished, like scraps of several Happy Mondays songs bolted together. They are separated by the very pretty, very Beatlesy Your Star Will Shine. The home straight is fantastic. Starting with the thumping Begging You (I seem to have a dozen remixes of this lying around) and the (Rolling) Stones sound-alike Tightrope...I'm starting to think this may be a lost classic. Good Times comes next, a great track but not sure if the key suits Ian's vocal. I think I remember this sounded like a dogs dinner live though. Followed by my favourite at the time: Tears. Its the most subtle of the tunes on here, maybe the song is a little cluttered but the tune and the guitar solos are beautiful. How Do You Sleep is good-not-great song, and sets the album up nicely for the rock monster of a closer that is Love Spreads.
Its more varied than the debut for sure and much more uneven. It's not the classic that the first album was but it has some seriously good high points. Now, excuse me while I count down the days to Heaton Park. And maybe a third album.