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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect comeback, 6 Feb. 2010
This review is from: Jordan: The Comeback (Audio CD)
It is almost incredible to think that there is probably no finer band that have advanced the pop music genre since the Beatles strummed their final chords on Abbey Road and yet, apart from a few hit singles in the 80s, Prefab Sprout are largely ignored by the music intelligensia.

Pick up any of their albums and start listening to it and you will be astounded at the beauty of what you hear. Paddy's obscure yet relevant lyrics, sung with an earnest, almost pleading singing style backed up by angelic backing vocals from Wendy and the tightest rhythm section this side of Sly and Robbie. All this coated with a gorgeous electronic production veneer from Thomas Dolby. The overall result is simply beautiful.

Jordan is the Sprout's fourth studio album and arguably their best. Swoon, Steve McQueen and Langley Park were wonderful albums, but Jordan is simply a delight from beginning to end. It's a huge collection of songs, almost operatic in structure with four separate acts comprising a set of tracks with a common theme or style. You can start listening to this album at the beginning of any of these acts. Whichever one you choose you are going to be guaranteed a delightful listening experience.

I'll just select a few songs to review in detail but honestly I could pick any of the tracks from this album and eulogize about them. `We let the Stars Go' sounds like something that the angels would sing in heaven. It reminisces about the joy that was had during a relationship; remember that gorgeous night when we let the stars go. Yeah, I think we can all remember at least one night like that.

For sheer pulsating energy and instant appeal, `Looking for Atlantis' is tremendously enjoyable. The lyrical sentiment and relentless beat of the track reminds me of the early Beatles. Think of, `You're gonna lose that girl' when you listen to `you should be loving someone'. I've always likened Paddy's `stretched' singing style to John Lennon's and the similarity is very evident in this track. The harmonica solo that is served up at the end of the track serves only to reinforce the similarity.

Later tracks on the album are concerned with the workings of God. You would never guess it from the title, but `Doo wap in Harlem' is probably the most perfect song ever written for a funeral. That's not much of an endorsement, I know, but it is such a beautifully paced lament for a lost loved one that it could melt the coldest of hearts. It even sounds like it was recorded in a church, with an organ humming along in the background and Paddy and Wendy harmonizing the lyrics to perfection.

So, there you have it. A few tracks to give you a flavor of the treats in store on this album. Trust me, the rest of the album is as good as these tracks and includes songs about love, God and more modern deities such as Elvis, Jesse James and even Abba! In fact, there are another sixteen tracks to enjoy. For anyone who has yet to discover this album, I am genuinely envious.

Prefab Sprout have produced four seminal albums with Swoon, Steve McQueen, Langley Park and Jordan. My favorite is Jordan, but they are all great and should feature in any serious musical collection. Later works by Prefab Sprout and some of Paddy's solo efforts are worthy but pale in comparison to the magnificent achievement embodied in these four fantastic albums. Here is a comeback I'd love to see. Perhaps, like the title track says, Prefab Sprout are just "waitin' for the right song, then they're comin' back".
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Initial post: 20 May 2014, 12:41:02 BST
M Marr says:
Get a grip on yourself!
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Location: Cambridge, UK

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