3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Glimpses of past glories,
This review is from: The Gunman And Other Stories (Audio CD)
I was a fan of the 'Sprouts' back in the 80's but was majorly disappointed by the 'Jordan'album(which most reviewers seem to think is great-perhaps I ought to give it another go).So,I wasn't expecting great things from this.I knew the Cowboy Dreams track from Jimmy Nail's Crocodile Shoes t.v.show and I actually prefer his version,though this is good,too.'Wild card in the pack'is one of the stronger tracks though the gambling metaphor is hardly original.'I'm a troubled man' is almost Dylan-like,sombre and fatalistic.I didn't like it at first,but it's grown on me and I've learned with much of 'Sprout's'music that you need to give it time as it is seldom obvious.'Love will find someone for you 'is,for me, the worst track,as McAloon falls from the tightrope of bitter-sweet romanticism straight into the syrup.Things pick up with 'Cornfield Ablaze',my favourite,with driving,rolling tempo and a curious lyric being made to feel just right for the song. This is classic Sprout,swirling,romantic and capable of making a middle-aged man feel like he's 19 again-dangerous stuff!'When you get to know me better' is a typical McAloon apology for the weaknesses of men.'The Gunman',though interesting,could have done with some serious editing.It is over 8 minutes long and could have been half that without losing anything.Blue Roses could have been a Country track,and not a very interesting one at that.Unfortunately the album ends with another contender for the worst track.However,I'm sure'Farmyard Cat'is a joke.Anyone of Paddy McAloon's lyric writing talent who writes-
I have 9 lives and I rhyme with mat
I'm a farmyard cat
has got to be taking the proverbial.It would be a good track to use at a kid's party for musical chairs contests.So,a bit hit and miss as an album but for me,still worth it.I'd buy it just for 'Cornfield Ablaze'.