The re-release of Titanic Days in 2005, some 10 years after its original appearance, is an absolute delight. The album originally appeared on IRS in late 1993 in America only. A UK release followed in Spring 2004, but a combination of very poor promotion and the usual stupidity of Radio One programmers drowned the album at birth. It was a criminal loss. This album is an absolute classic. Kirsty later described it as her "sad divorce album". Written with ex Fairground Attraction legend Mark E. Nevin, the album chronicles Kirsty at a low ebb as her marriage to Steve Lillywhite fell apart. But it's not a depressing album. There is anger, frustration (The marvellous opening line - "I want to shake up this world and not to feel so useless"), melancholy, sadness (Soho Square - her best song?), anger (the title track) but also humour ("I want a brief encounter in a stolen car/a hand on my buttock in a Spanish bar). There is an attractive dance sensibility to the penultimate song "Just woke up". This is not the story of someone getting out of bed in the morning. This is the realisation that you are in an impossible situation, which reaches its peak in the extraordinary closing track "Tomorrow never comes". The beginning sounds like a requiem. "Let my tears dry/in the light of a setting sun" sings Kirsty, which more or less describes how she spent some time in subsequent years escaping the British winter by travelling to Cuba. ZTT have more than redeemed themselves with this re-release. The second CD features Kirsty's "Dear John" letter to Steve Lillywhite. At the time it was thought to be too close to the bone and given to Eddi Reader. It was nominated for an Ivor Novello award as the best song musically and lyrically. It should have won. There are also unreleased songs such as "King Kong", and those long impossible to find unless you are in Australia B sides "Touch me" and "Fabulous Garden", which is worth the price of the album if only for the strength of its lyric - "and if I gave you an inch for every time I was hurt/I'd be pushing up daisies six feet under the dirt/and if you gave me a flower for every broken vow/we'd have a fabulous garden by now".
Kirsty wrote so many great pop songs, but this is her most coherent album. Buy the greatest hits, revel in the joy of the "From Croydon to Cuba" anthology, but if you want that rare gem - an album you will listen to and love day in day out for years - you must buy "Titanic Days".