November 29, 1993 12:00 PM


It’s unusual to find a pop band that never outgrew cult status still functioning after 15 years—and sounding, amazingly, better than ever. But in its 12th album, the soul-sprinkled, sometimes too-cute British quintet has created its most fetching and vibrant songs in years, and sweet-voiced Glenn Tilbrook is singing them with undimmed fervor and suppleness. The return of keyboardist Paul Carrack, with whom Squeeze enjoyed its first U.S. chart single, “Tempted,” in 1981, and the addition of former Elvis Costello drummer Pete Thomas may have helped Tilbrook and writing partner Chris Difford set their sophisticated pastel melodies and questing lyrics in a taut, energetic frame. Eternally boyish in spirit but honed in their skills, Difford and Tilbrook have found a way to write about experiences as deep as the death of a close friend—the title cut—or repeated failure in love without losing their trademark zest. (A&M)

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