THE BARENAKED LADIES vs STEVEN PAGE – cage match music review by Lee Edward McIlmoyle
tl;dr Version: Cage Match!!! Five men walk in… and only five men walk out! But who will bear the most scars‽
‘Splain, Lucy Version: In the annals of history, there have been few things that have more effectively ended the careers of groups of successful musicians than the dreaded Solo Album. Many bands have tried, but very few have survived. Once a strong songwriter figures out they can make music with or without the band, there’s very little that can keep them down on the farm, especially if they’ve been meeting with resistance to their ideas where there was less before. This morning, we will examine the two most recent albums of one of Canada’s favourite exports, The Barenaked Ladies.
Boring Version: Okay, for those of you who have been living under a rock, or were perhaps born after rock music discovered Prozac, the Barenaked Ladies have been for most of their career a five piece pop rock ensemble, noted for close harmonies, warm, ear-catching arrangements and idiosyncratic, and clever, sometimes comedic lyrics. What few had guessed from listening to the Gordon album (or the Yellow Tape if you go back that far) is that they would eventually see the growth of not one, not two, but five unique songwriting voices (if you include early ex-pat Andy Creegan), and one world class rock drummer who doesn’t get nearly enough credit… or stuff to work out on, as it happens.
CAVEAT and PREAMBLE
Okay, in the interests of full disclosure, I have been to see the Barenaked Ladies three times in the last five years, and my wife and I have their entire studio output on CD and MP3, so I can’t pretend to be entirely impartial here. I wasn’t one of those people who fell in love with them immediately, though I always had a grudging respect for their musicianship; they could reel off classic Prog Rock riffs in the middle of their songs and make it sound both flawless and spontaneous, and there is no way I could hear them do that and not tip my hat.
Also, over the years, I have dated at least two people who considered themselves serious fans of BNL, and my songwriting partner has been a fan for decades as well, so there was pretty much never a time when I wasn’t exposed to their music, and learned some of it as well. I used to do a mean karaoke take of One Week (with Wendy DePaulo), where I got to sing Ed’s rapidfire parts.
Nevertheless, I didn’t really consider myself a fan until the Barenaked Ladies Are Me/Barenaked Ladies Are Men double album set. Oh sure, it was released as two separate albums, but we all know what that really means, don’t we? It means they got egotistical and insisted on releasing every track they had, no matter how weak they were!
Except, not so much, because while I’m sure opinions differ, I happen to feel that BNL turned a corner there that lead them towards becoming a far more organic and all around enjoyable band. The comical numbers were still there, but they were getting better at writing them so they didn’t stick out like a sore… thumb. Suddenly they weren’t simply writing a collection of songs; they were writing an album with a sustained style and flavour that placed it thoroughly in the classic rock category for perhaps the first time in their careers.
It was also, as it so happens, the last time they would share an album with their co-founder and guiding songwriter, Steven Page. In 2009, after much speculation, he announced he was leaving the band, after some humiliating experiences with a drug bust and a decision that he would not be able to take part in the Disney shows they had planned. His comments at the time were that he was feeling stifled by the band format and wanted to work with other musicians. The subsequent comments made it seem as if, perhaps in the public eye at least, Steve wanted folks to understand that he had more to say than the Ladies style, which he’d helped to establish and maintain, would permit.
So in 2010, after much bally hoo, Steven released an album of cover song performances he did with an ensemble called The Art of Time, and fully demonstrated his vocal talents in a wide range of non-rock formats in a cohesive fashion for perhaps the first time in his career. This time, he wasn’t breaking out the faux operatic chops for laughs; he was serious. It’s a decent album and a definite shift from both his previous solo (duo, really) album or his BNL output. But we’re not going to talk about that album, because I’m more interested in the post-breakup albums, and that live album had been in the works before most of us knew he’d left.
No, the true litmus test for me is to see which artist releases the strongest studio album. Now, I tried to decide what the fairest way to decide would be, and concluded that, while there is something to be said to just playing first one album and then the other, you wouldn’t get the full effect of comparison. I also considered matching the songs to their most obvious competitors, but came to the conclusion that it would take too long to set it up that way. So I’ve gone for a scramble method. I’ve literally decided to trust the artists to know their craft and simply play the songs, one each, from start to finish, and see how they stack up.
Barenaked Ladies wins the coin toss simply because they got their album out first, which definitely shows that they weren’t going to give up without a fight. I like to think adversity brought the best out of them, but we’ll see.
So, first up is You Run Away. It opens slow and quiet, a melancholic vibe suffused by minimalistic parts from all four musicians, building a wall of pastel shades. Ed’s plaintive voice slowly paints a picture of a man who lost someone very special, and we’re forced to admit that he obviously isn’t holding back any punches. Then the band builds to a rock rhythm which explodes out of the silence as he exhorts his friend to look at what he’s walked away from. It’s a new harmony that hasn’t been heard before, but it’s a band’s chorus, rather than two voices in close harmony. Ed even essays a little high note to fill that void perhaps needing some of Steve’s old magic. Then the most complex vocal harmony the band has ever performed drags the song to a conclusion, with Ed making it clear that, to their minds, they did what they could, and lost. But if this is what failure sounds like, I must have missed that day in music class, because they literally snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
Next up is Steve’s A New Shore, which opens simply with him banging out a slightly chirpy little rhythm on acoustic guitar, the balladeer preparing to tell his side of the story, and then the new band comes crashing in and sounds very much like classic BNL, augmented with some very nice strings. It’s an incredibly fun piece with some heavenly vocal harmonies from his backing band. There is middle eight that goes through a few bits of arrangement, harp to strings to keyboards playing traditional shanty instrumentation. Then the song breaks down to some rather lovely Beach Boys vocals, and the acoustic returns tentatively to issue in what can only be Steve’s thesis statement, with seafaring sounds leading to an elegiac ending, declaring ‘Land Ho’. The band and orchestra, plus some percussion and more seafaring sounds lead us to a sudden end, and I can’t help feeling he got off a pretty solid first shot.
So, who gets the first blow? Well, Steve’s version of the story is far more dynamic and boisterous sounding, and I’ll give him points for making his statement stick with an arrangement that BNL as a five piece couldn’t have performed accurately without augmentation of some kind. It’s a beautiful arrangement, and the pop song writer in me has to applaud both his lyricism and the catchiness of his song and arrangement. That said, I like his first song, and it is growing on me, but I absolutely love what BNL did with their first number. It hits a more emotionally raw quality that Steve seems determined not to fall into this time around. Steve’s song is bold, but Ed’s song is vulnerable and all the braver for daring to go first.
You Run Away wins.
Next up, it’s Ed’s follow-up, Summertime. Big burst of sound and then Ed introduces a brilliant riff that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Bachman Turner Overdrive album, until they get to the bridge and chorus, which sound like perfect 70s AM radio discofied pop a la Paul McCartney and Wings. It’s got this great groove in the bridge riff that demonstrates the band entering very new territory. They sound like a rock band, and not by mistake. Basically, this sounds like a lost track from Band on the Run, and I honestly wish it had been released for the summertime, because it would have been the perfect summer song.
Now, Steve’s Indecision opens smartly with a big pop rock riff and catchy harmonies that sound ever so slightly sweeter than you might have gotten from the ladies, but he switches to a lounge jazz riff for the verse, and then returns to indie rock for the chorus. The middle eight is pretty huge, and I can hear little inflections of 60s rock pastiche, huge Rickenbacker 12 string chords and hand claps. A very polished and infectious number.
For my money, Steve’s tune would have sounded just as good on the new BNL album, which is both a contradiction and a bit of a backhanded insult, but there it is. Steve has done this kind of stuff before, though perhaps not as smartly. You can’t fault him on this one, but for me, it just doesn’t break much new ground, where BNL’s song really breaks out of the mold. They’ve played rocking riffs before, but rarely in the service of such an infectious and cleverly arranged ode to 70s summer rock radio hits, complete with analogue synths and a backing vocal riff easily as catchy and singable as Steve’s. Another close fight, but again, Ed gets in the best shot.
Next up is Kevin Hearn’s first entry into the new BNL, with Another Heartbreak. I won’t lie to you, I think Kevin is an amazing musician and a wonderful songwriter with his one slant on things, but his voice, though utterly distinctive, usually comes up short for me. He’s great on the soft numbers, but you don’t get much rock from him. And in the first twenty seconds, you get exactly what you would expect from Kevin, playing a quiet piano riff and singing earnestly. Then the wall of guitars descends and suddenly you’re in a stronger place. He voice is doubled here, which gives it some added oomph we haven’t heard before, but before we’ve gotten used to that, we return to the plaintive bit, except that we have some vocal harmony hear from Ed and possibly Jim, and Tyler’s drumming is emphatic and dynamic, even as he plays his trademark pop rhythms. He returns to the quite section before storming into the instrumental, an undermixed wall of rock guitars and a big build to the finish.
Steve comes back with Clifton Springs, which is for all the world a waltz from the fifties pop charts. Lyrically, he’s in balladeer mode, telling a story that is a step removed from his more confessional stuff of the last two songs, but it’s another loser anthem, so you get the idea that he’s settling into a groove. There are some country instruments like banjo and pedal steel guitar until the bridge, where you can hear low, keening saxes playing against the country waltz, and a female voice starts to whisper in the background. Then there’s some strange radio noise until a wall of silence drops and the country waltz returns, the 50s pop and female vocals returning, and it waltzes charmingly if sardonically to the end, a little spinnet playing in the background to give it a strange feel. All in all, a very adventurous number, if a bit placid.
This one is tough for me because, to be frank, I enjoy Kevin’s tune better, but Steve’s got him on technical points. Kevin’s song is arranged wonderfully to give his voice the best treatment I’ve ever heard in one of his numbers, and it’s easily as dynamic as Steve’s. I don’t like to cop out here, especially given that people want to see someone win or lose here, but I’m inclined to call this one a draw. If it had been any other song by Kevin, it might not have faired so well, but this was the right song at the right time, and proves the band are determined to go from strength to strength.
Another Heartbreak ties Clifton Springs.
Next up is Ed and Tyler’s Four Seconds. I say Tyler’s because, though I’m pretty sure he wasn’t involved in the writing, he gives a wonderfully charming vocal performance alongside Ed doing another of his trademarked speed rap routines (where he cleverly disproves the old adage that nothing rhymes with orange), but this time in a very strange vein, given that the song has twangy white blues riffing and the loudest gated drum kit I’ve heard in years. Tyler and his drums are the real star of this track, and you better believe it was well worth the wait. They also sneak in a vocal harmony right out of O Brother Where Art Thou, which perhaps tells you a little about where the influence comes from. This song is also the second of two songs Ed co-wrote with Ian LeFeuvre (Summertime being the other one), but considering how many tunes Steve co-wrote with Stephen Duffy in the past, it doesn’t seem entirely out of place here, even if the new band aesthetic has been to keep the songwriting within the band, given that Steve uses tow co-writers on his solo album.
Steve’s next number is the hugely atmospheric Entourage, and I’ll tell you flat out, this is one of the big contenders, and one of the most adventurous things Steve does on this album. It opens like he’s singing in an Middle Eastern dance groove, while singing one of his trademark sarcastic social commentaries, this time about famous people in relationships. The Middle Eastern arrangements are flawless and add something really important to this album, because Steve finally shows his teeth, and does it in the context of a lush Arabian boudoir theme. It goes out on a strangely jazzy outro of crazy muted sax and female vocals along with a crunchy electric piano, an odd choice that slyly resets the piece in Harlem, but still a very effective piece.
This is extremely hard for me to choose, because both of these tracks are true standouts. I love Four Seconds because it’s Ed reinventing his perhaps too-well-known penchant for fast rhyming pop numbers, and using Tyler in this fashion is revelatory. It’s incredible what they proved able to do within the context of the band. But Steve’s number is the second real standout, and this one has the narrative heft of a classic novel to it. It’s hard to compare these two and not feel like it’s a draw, but really, you’ve got to give it to Steve for finally giving us a sharp left turn and taking us somewhere special.
Now we have Jim Creegan’s first number, On The Lookout, and I’ve got to tell you, if Four Seconds was revelatory, this track is an awe-inspiring reveal: Jim Creegan is a pop master craftsman. He opens with some funky pop piano with bass scratching in the back. Then he gets tot he bit with the sweetest string arrangement I’ve heard in ages. His voice has never been stronger and clearer, the piano, which he plays himself, is wonderful, and the chorus is huge and beautiful and buoyant. Another summer blockbuster unrealised. It’s an absolutely gorgeous slab of pop heaven, and if you can get through the chorus without singing along, you have no heart, and you are dead to me.
Poor Steve. I’m so sorry, you shouldn’t have seen that.
Steve follows this with a rip-roaring rocker called Marry Me. His tongue if firmly in cheek for this one, and I have to admit, the song absolutely motors. The vocal harmonies are perhaps a teensy bit too precious in places (sha la la?), but the song is absolutely flawless. That said, I really don’t think this would have been out of place on a BNL album. In fact, I wish it has been on THIS BNL album, because it shows Steve entering Ed’s arena with some serious rocking out. Wait, there’s some production trickery with the outro, which is a cute finish. I love this song more each time I hear it.
Which is why it pains me to say, Steve, again, I’m sorry. Marry Me deserves to go up against something else, because really, it’s a great song, and it probably could have taken on damned near anything else on the new BNL album and come out unscathed. But nothing trumps Jim Creegan showing off his Paul McCartney chops. Your song is great, but Jim’s is flawless AND surprising, given that all of his previous outings with BNL albums were quirky and charming but essentially harmless. He got you this time, buddy.
On The Lookout wins.
Next up is Ed’s Ordinary, and he’s essentially taking it down a notch to give us the sort of acoustic number we’ve grown accustomed to Ed giving us. It’s got some keys in there, and Tyler tapping away with brushes in 2/4 time, and the vocal harmonies build up beautifully. Then the piano starts pounding and detuning, and suddenly, we’re in the middle of that other Ed staple, the straight rocker, which very cleverly retreats to the bridge that takes us back to the verse, vocals interspersed with little reminders of past acoustic glories. The chorus returns, and it’s so big you just want to lift him up on your shoulders and parade him around the room. The song finishes on what feels like a 60s Doorsy jam that grinds sweetly to a halt.
Almost in response, Steve gives us All the Young Monogamists, and if you think that, with a title like that, he’s going to take the piss, you’re probably right, but remember, he’s being much more scathing in this album than we’ve seen before. Sort of BNL meets Roger Waters. It opens with a string quartet augmented by some horns, and then balladeer Steve returns with his trusty acoustic, setting up his story. The arrangement on this track is the key, because he’s got these lovely medieval strings, horns and winds in places, and the tune is very modal. This wouldn’t have sounded out of place on a middle period XTC or early Polyphonic Spree album, and it’s quite gorgeous, even as lyrically he takes relationship conventions to task, even as he swears he will always be true to her. Lovely.
So where does that leave us? Well, Ed gave us a classic piece of BNL, which paradoxically there has been very little of on the new album thus far, and it is not at all unwelcome. It’s even a fun song, despite the fact that he pretty much starts it off declaring ‘Don’t you know we lost?’. However, Steve left so he could conduct exactly these little experiments in non-rock arrangement, and it would be churlish of me to deny that he proved his point on this one. This is definitely not a BNL tune, though it most certainly is a Steven Page song (he wrote it all by his lonesome). I guess it’s nice to see him turn the strength of his rather distinctive songwriting voice to give us something both familiar and strange, which for my money has been sorely lacking on this album thus far.
All The Young Monogamists wins.
Okay, now Ed’s not going to take that laying down, because here comes I Have Learned. Ed discovered a whole new rich vein of inspiration to explore when he suddenly decided he’d f#$%ing had enough. What he discovered was, he now has anger on his side. This is the first of two songs where he puts away his pop songwriter hat and puts on his leather pants and beats the $#!^ out of his guitar. I know you know where this is going. It starts quiet enough, brooding, building a mood, an atmosphere. Sounds a bit like we’ve accidentally walked in on a Foo Fighters concert. And the arena rock guitar riffing doesn’t hurt the impression. ‘I’d use a metaphor, but I’m done with you’. The message is, it doesn’t pay to piss off the guitarist.
Steve comes back with She’s Trying To Save Me, which to my ears sounds like a song that needed to be on the BNL album more than just about anything else here. It absolutely screams new BNL, right down to the rock guitar and the clever arrangements with the keys and sound effects. And yet, it sounds so much like classic Steve, there just isn’t any way this wouldn’t have warped the density of the album. It motors pretty much from start to finish, and it’s also a lot of fun without being silly. It finishes with a warped sort of psychedelic carnival effect that just sounds and feels like you’ve stepped into a Jellyfish record. Beautiful.
Ultimately, I’m giving this one to Ed because, dammit, I feel his anger, and it hits me in a way even Steve’s perfect pop song doesn’t.
I Have Learned wins.
Ed comes back again, this time with the second single from the album, Every Subway Car, which does something pretty cool; it lets Ed reinvent his sound, very much like Steve’s album has, while writing a very Ed kind of tune. It opens with a great mix of synth and guitar, but settles into a standard BNL verse, interrupted by the intro riff, which proves to be a great bridge piece. The chorus is big and the guitar here is nice and beefy, showing that you’re not getting Ed’s guitar out of his hands without a fight. A bit of acoustic on the next verse, but the electrics are back for the follwoign verse, and then that huge chorus with the big pounding drums and driving bass line leading us up to the rathe XTCish middle eight, followed by a nice, noisy instrumental that returns quickly to the chorus and takes us to the ending. Good solid pop rock.
Steve opens Over Joy with big, jangly acoustic guitars, in a Beatles/Byrds folk rock vein, using some lovely female doubling vocals in the the answer lines of the chorus. It’s not precisely a departure, though it’s a good time on the album for one of these numbers. I actually find myself wishing he’s placed his previous song here, so I wouldn’t feel like I was giving him such a rough time. He does deliver a nice operatic flourish going into the guitar solo. Over all, Over Joy is a nice song, but it’s not precisely on the same level as Ed’s. If this and the previous song on Steve’s album had been reversed, this would be a different outcome. As it stands, I have to give it to Ed, even though his tune isn’t my favourite on the album.
Every Subway Car wins.
Now, Kevin is back with a slightly latin/country/western fusion on Jerome. It’s precisely the sort of song you’d expect Steve to write for a BNL album, and Kevin handles it nicely, though he never quite reaches Steve’s vocal dexterity. There’s a really nice brass slide guitar solo, some very subtle arrangement throughout, and while the song is a bit precious and cloying in places, it’s quite charming, and definitely demonstrates that Kevin is willing to break from the pack and do something unexpected. (FYI: I believe he hits the Steve vibe even better on his non-album extra, Let There Be Light.)
Steve returns with If You Love Me, which starts like an epic bit of Disco and goes into a truly happy 80s pop tune vibe, right out of the Howard Jones or Julian Lennon playbook. Folks, I’m not gonna lie to you here, Steve could probably have beaten Kevin’s song with a dirge from the phone book, but it doesn’t hurt that he gave us a perfect piece of synth pop. It’s got all the hooks you’d expect, including splashes of rock guitar, and a huge bridge to the middle eight. He couldn’t have made this more perfect if he’s hired a team to write it, which in this case isn’t so, because it’s just him and Stephen ‘Tin Tin’ Duffy.
If You Love Me wins, hands down.
I can practically hear Ed’s jaw muscles flexing as he goes into the opening of How Long. The opening line is ‘So give it up for anger, it makes us strong’, and ladies and gentlemen, I’m here to tell you, he had me at hello. Of course I’m biased about this one. It’s got mood and grit to spare. This is the vision of the band that Steve doubtless couldn’t find a place for himself in. This is high octane Ed, making it clear he’s not letting the band go down the tubes. This is a fighting song. It’s BNL on steroids. HUGE bridge. Tyler playing hard rock drums, and he pulls it off flawlessly. Jim’s bass is perfectly brooding, but it’s the walls of guitar and the occasional piano strike that set the tone. Thin Lizzy? BTO? Mott The Hoople? You decide. All I can say is, the squall at the end just hammers home the fact that Ed isn’t fucking around anymore.
Steve responds in typical insouciance by giving us Leave Her Alone, a perfect mix of his rock and 50s jazz pop tastes. It’s like Frank Sinatra hired someone to write him a swinging rock song to sing, and then decided his throat wasn’t up to the task and send in a stand-in to sing it. It’s actually brilliantly arranged, and has a lovely middle eight with mellotron,and then he heads for the home stretch in Sinatra mode.
Truth to tell, if it wasn’t such a wonderful fusion, I’d probably pass on Leave Her Alone, simply because 50s swinging jazz doesn’t really work for me; I prefer my jazz either big band 40s style, or freeform trio style. It’s those sugary horn arrangements: They’re too white for me. But regardless, Steve would have had to give me something pretty awesome to keep me from my course, which is to say…
How Long wins. Don’t look surprised.
Next up is Golden Boy, a classic rocker straight from the Steve school of classic BNL rockers, if you can believe that one. Ed stacked the decks pretty heavily with this album, and if it weren’t for the fact that it has some really top notch tunes from Kevin and Jim, it would almost be Ed’s solo album; He definitely wrote enough tunes for one (ten songs for these sessions, to be exact). And if You Run Away was his sad, poignant statement about losing Steve, this one feels more like his ‘yeah, whatever, Steve’ tune. The tongue is thoroughly in cheek this time, and he doesn’t cheap out, either. He gives us big guitar riffs, big Beach Boys harmonies, Farfisa organ tones, Kevin and Jim answering some of his lines. They sound like a band on this one, and Tyler gets in some great drumming as well. Plus, a nice bit of guitar solo doubled with some keys. Sneaky little lines about hair falling out. Ed’s still angry, but he’s mellowing here. It’s more about letting go.
Steve gives us Queen of America, which is a pretty deliberate late 90s electronica pop song, complete with drum machine opening and walls of synth before some rather nice drum arrangement and a middle section with a rock band kind of vamping on some mid 70s Elton John, which he uses to carry the song to the finish line. Considering the subject matter, it’s actually a rather LGBT-friendly number I’d expect to hear in gay clubs.
For my money, Golden Boy is more fun for me, but I think I’m giving this one to Steve just for trying something different, which Ed was doing practically the opposite of with his deliberate Steve pastiche.
Queen of America wins.
Jim brings us back to pop perfection with I Saw It, a lovely number that cements his newly-won status as pop master craftsman. The arrangements on this song are just so pretty, I don’t even mind the strings, which come just this short of being too sweet. It feels like a George Martin arrangement, though the song has more of a late 80s U2 vibe to them. It sounds just a little like U2’s Sweetest Thing, only not at all derivative of it. Just in that same sunny diatonic vein that just makes you smile that soft smile you so rarely get to use anymore. I adore this song. Steve’s gonna have to bring it to win over this one.
Steve brings it, but not in the way I would have hoped for. The Chorus Girl is beautiful, but it’s largely Steve and his acoustic, singing one of his more earnest bits of lyric. When the song kicks in properly, it’s a little like One Tin Soldier, which I could live without, but at least the string arrangement is nice and classical sounding. He uses a lot of space in this song, but the atmosphere builds and feels pretty lovely when it breaks open toward the end, a bit like another Polyphonic Spree number. Horns and strings and piano and bass and acoustics and a choir of female voices. Very Polyphonic Spree, but in a welcome way that doesn’t leave me feeling he’s just stealing. He is, but it’s in service of a lovely song, so it’s not all bad. And then he closes it with the slow fade, which returns with just a piano and acoustic with some slightly keening strings.
I won’t lie: I like Jim’s song better. But on the whole, I think I have to give it to Steve just because he did do something cool with his song, even though I’m not sure it was either big enough or cacophonous enough to really feel like a true closer. It doesn’t achieve A Day In The Life proportions, and for that, he very nearly loses, but the piece is fairly adventurous, and the lyrics were pretty good. He handled it well. So I’ll give him this one and then we have to total it up, because Steve didn’t write as many tunes as BNL did.
The Chorus Girl wins.
Well, using my rudimentary math skills, I have determined that Steve won five and tied once, leaving the score 6-5 for BNL. All in all, I’d say that’s a pretty fair score. Over all, I find I enjoy the BNL album much more, but Steve hasn’t completely dropped the ball. He tried a number of things, and I give it to him, BNL might have had trouble reproducing a number of those arrangements. That said, if it’s really just arrangements that differentiate his work now from what he did in BNL, then he hasn’t come as far as they have, because they’ve had revolutions on both arrangement and songwriting fronts, where he’s still Steve still singing his cheeky, sarcastic lyrics and making clever but occasionally slight statements about the world around him.
ALL IN GOOD TIME WINS.
So if you’re a fan, you’ve already got both of these albums. But if you’re on the fence because you’ve been waiting for an excuse to finally get down and pick up one of their albums, this is the time. BNL is never going to be fresher than they are right now. But if you do buy it and feel like something is missing, hey, Steve’s album has plenty of what he took with him. You won’t lose out buying both. Just be prepared to listen a couple of times to each, because neither album is as immediately accessible as, say, Everything To Everyone.
Enjoy, and thanks for reading.
© 2011 Lee Edward McIlmoyle