Well, I was there back in 1985 when this album was a must-have and was played in student halls of residence up and down the country. It was just about perfect then, and still is.
The revelation is the bonus disc of acoustic versions: this on its own would qualify as one of the best albums of 2007, a 're-release' or not.
It doesn't matter if you're not a Sprouts fan: if you appreciate quality music of the sensitive singer-songwriter variety, I can't imagine how anyone wouldn't love this acoustic material. As a huge fan of Elliott Smith and The Blue Nile, this is now one of those indispensable albums of staggering beauty and subtlety.
Still some of the best lyrics every written:
"The sunlight makes a fence out of the forest
But here I am with head inside the bonnet ...
I've lost just what it takes to be honest."
Paddy's voice is exceptional, light and intimate in tone, hitting some rare and beautiful low notes here for a change. The multi-layered acoustic guitars create a detailed fabric of warm sound which, even without a vocal, would be worth a listen on its own.
It's very rare I get this enthusiastic about 'new' music, but this is exceptional. The kind of record you want to tell all your friends about. Makes you want to say God Bless Paddy, and without a trace of irony. Makes you want to swoon ... a lot!