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Pop - Publicado el 12 de marzo de 1984 | Sony Music CG

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Pop - Publicado el 1 de enero de 1984 | Columbia

Paddy McAloon had not yet found the key to the elegant compositions that made Prefab Sprout distinctive when it came time to record their debut, Swoon. He certainly tries hard to make his sophisticated contemporary pop sound distinctive, but the problem is that he does too many things at once -- the lyrics are overstuffed, and the music has too many chord changes and weird juxtapositions, as he tries to put white-funk beats to carefully crafted melodies. A few moments work, such as "Couldn't Bear to Be Special," but Swoon is primarily of interest as a historical item, since it only suggests the promise the band later filled. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop indie - Publicado el 1 de enero de 1984 | Columbia

Paddy McAloon had not yet found the key to the elegant compositions that made Prefab Sprout distinctive when it came time to record their debut, Swoon. He certainly tries hard to make his sophisticated contemporary pop sound distinctive, but the problem is that he does too many things at once -- the lyrics are overstuffed, and the music has too many chord changes and weird juxtapositions, as he tries to put white-funk beats to carefully crafted melodies. A few moments work, such as "Couldn't Bear to Be Special," but Swoon is primarily of interest as a historical item, since it only suggests the promise the band later filled. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Publicado el 24 de junio de 1985 | Sony Music CG

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Pop - Publicado el 1 de junio de 1985 | Sony Music Media

Smart, sophisticated, and timelessly stylish, Steve McQueen (titled Two Wheels Good in the U.S. after threats of a lawsuit from the actor's estate) is a minor classic, a shimmering jazz-pop masterpiece sparked by Paddy McAloon's witty and inventive songwriting. McAloon is a wickedly cavalier composer, his songs exploring human weaknesses like regret ("Bonny"), lust ("Appetite"), and infidelity ("Horsin' Around") with cynical insight and sarcastic flair; he's also remarkably adaptable, easily switching gears from the faux country of "Faron Young" to the stately pop grace of "Moving the River." At times, perhaps, his pretensions get the better of him (as on "Desire As"), while at other times his lyrics are perhaps too trenchant for their own good; at those moments, however, what keeps Steve McQueen afloat is Thomas Dolby's lush production, which makes even the loftiest and most biting moments as easily palatable as the airiest adult contemporary confection. © Jason Ankeny /TiVo
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Pop indie - Publicado el 1 de marzo de 1988 | Columbia

As suggested by the title, From Langley Park to Memphis is Prefab Sprout's spiritual journey into the heart of American culture; obsessed with rock 'n' roll ("The King of Rock 'n' Roll") and Bruce Springsteen ("Cars and Girls"), fascinated with gospel music ("Venus of the Soup Kitchen") and locked in a love/hate relationship with New York City ("Hey! Manhattan"), Paddy McAloon turns an iconoclastic eye to the other side of the Atlantic in order to make some sense of it all. An airy, lounge-pop feel permeates the record, which also sports cameos from the likes of Stevie Wonder and Pete Townshend. Still, while ambitious in both concept and execution, From Langley Park to Memphis pales in comparison to its masterful predecessor Two Wheels Good -- a shortcoming acknowledged by Prefab Sprout themselves with the title of their next album, Jordan: The Comeback. © Jason Ankeny /TiVo
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Pop - Publicado el 1 de marzo de 1988 | Columbia

As suggested by the title, From Langley Park to Memphis is Prefab Sprout's spiritual journey into the heart of American culture; obsessed with rock 'n' roll ("The King of Rock 'n' Roll") and Bruce Springsteen ("Cars and Girls"), fascinated with gospel music ("Venus of the Soup Kitchen") and locked in a love/hate relationship with New York City ("Hey! Manhattan"), Paddy McAloon turns an iconoclastic eye to the other side of the Atlantic in order to make some sense of it all. An airy, lounge-pop feel permeates the record, which also sports cameos from the likes of Stevie Wonder and Pete Townshend. Still, while ambitious in both concept and execution, From Langley Park to Memphis pales in comparison to its masterful predecessor Two Wheels Good -- a shortcoming acknowledged by Prefab Sprout themselves with the title of their next album, Jordan: The Comeback. © Jason Ankeny /TiVo
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Pop - Publicado el 14 de marzo de 1988 | Sony Music CG

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Pop indie - Publicado el 16 de junio de 1989 | Columbia

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Pop - Publicado el 19 de junio de 1989 | Sony Music CG

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Pop - Publicado el 10 de septiembre de 1990 | Sony Music CG

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Pop indie - Publicado el 2 de octubre de 1990 | Epic

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Pop - Publicado el 6 de octubre de 1992 | Kitchenware

Prefab Sprout was always too good for the radio. Hearing the band's immaculate, gorgeously crafted pop songs alongside disposable, unimaginative records seemed like blasphemy. Perhaps many American radio programmers felt the same way, as most of this best-of compilation is obscure to U.S. listeners. While Two Wheels Good and From Langley Park to Memphis are superior purchases, A Life of Surprises is an engaging introduction to a group that is nowhere near as bizarre as its name. Much has been said about Paddy McAloon's warm, comforting voice, but like Paul Heaton of the Housemartins and the Beautiful South, his soothing croon can sometimes hide some pretty depressing lyrics. "When Love Breaks Down" is classic '80s new wave heartache: teary-eyed synthesizers, downtrodden basslines, and McAloon's whispery talk create a film noir atmosphere of deep sadness. The lyrics are sharpened by his adult observations. "When love breaks down/You join the wrecks/Who leave their hearts for easy sex," McAloon sings. The brutal honesty of those lines easily elevate "When Love Breaks Down" to the top class of breakup songs. Even more powerful is "Goodbye Lucille No. 1 (Johnny Johnny)," sung from the perspective of a man trying to make a close friend get over a girl who has rejected him. The words are frank and painfully realistic as McAloon doesn't sugarcoat the dialogue. McAloon rips into his buddy's futile romantic fantasies and lets the hard light of reality shine upon him: "Ooh Johnny Johnny Johnny you won't make it any better/Ooh Johnny Johnny Johnny you might well make it worse." If this sounds dreary it should be noted that Prefab Sprout isn't one of those grim British raincoat bands. The group has a number of wonderfully upbeat moments, such as on the exhilarating "Hey Manhattan!" and "Cars and Girls," a clever commentary on Bruce Springsteen's preoccupation with automobiles and women. © Michael Sutton /TiVo
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Pop - Publicado el 6 de octubre de 1992 | Kitchenware

Prefab Sprout was always too good for the radio. Hearing the band's immaculate, gorgeously crafted pop songs alongside disposable, unimaginative records seemed like blasphemy. Perhaps many American radio programmers felt the same way, as most of this best-of compilation is obscure to U.S. listeners. While Two Wheels Good and From Langley Park to Memphis are superior purchases, A Life of Surprises is an engaging introduction to a group that is nowhere near as bizarre as its name. Much has been said about Paddy McAloon's warm, comforting voice, but like Paul Heaton of the Housemartins and the Beautiful South, his soothing croon can sometimes hide some pretty depressing lyrics. "When Love Breaks Down" is classic '80s new wave heartache: teary-eyed synthesizers, downtrodden basslines, and McAloon's whispery talk create a film noir atmosphere of deep sadness. The lyrics are sharpened by his adult observations. "When love breaks down/You join the wrecks/Who leave their hearts for easy sex," McAloon sings. The brutal honesty of those lines easily elevate "When Love Breaks Down" to the top class of breakup songs. Even more powerful is "Goodbye Lucille No. 1 (Johnny Johnny)," sung from the perspective of a man trying to make a close friend get over a girl who has rejected him. The words are frank and painfully realistic as McAloon doesn't sugarcoat the dialogue. McAloon rips into his buddy's futile romantic fantasies and lets the hard light of reality shine upon him: "Ooh Johnny Johnny Johnny you won't make it any better/Ooh Johnny Johnny Johnny you might well make it worse." If this sounds dreary it should be noted that Prefab Sprout isn't one of those grim British raincoat bands. The group has a number of wonderfully upbeat moments, such as on the exhilarating "Hey Manhattan!" and "Cars and Girls," a clever commentary on Bruce Springsteen's preoccupation with automobiles and women. © Michael Sutton /TiVo
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Pop - Publicado el 6 de octubre de 1992 | Kitchenware

Prefab Sprout was always too good for the radio. Hearing the band's immaculate, gorgeously crafted pop songs alongside disposable, unimaginative records seemed like blasphemy. Perhaps many American radio programmers felt the same way, as most of this best-of compilation is obscure to U.S. listeners. While Two Wheels Good and From Langley Park to Memphis are superior purchases, A Life of Surprises is an engaging introduction to a group that is nowhere near as bizarre as its name. Much has been said about Paddy McAloon's warm, comforting voice, but like Paul Heaton of the Housemartins and the Beautiful South, his soothing croon can sometimes hide some pretty depressing lyrics. "When Love Breaks Down" is classic '80s new wave heartache: teary-eyed synthesizers, downtrodden basslines, and McAloon's whispery talk create a film noir atmosphere of deep sadness. The lyrics are sharpened by his adult observations. "When love breaks down/You join the wrecks/Who leave their hearts for easy sex," McAloon sings. The brutal honesty of those lines easily elevate "When Love Breaks Down" to the top class of breakup songs. Even more powerful is "Goodbye Lucille No. 1 (Johnny Johnny)," sung from the perspective of a man trying to make a close friend get over a girl who has rejected him. The words are frank and painfully realistic as McAloon doesn't sugarcoat the dialogue. McAloon rips into his buddy's futile romantic fantasies and lets the hard light of reality shine upon him: "Ooh Johnny Johnny Johnny you won't make it any better/Ooh Johnny Johnny Johnny you might well make it worse." If this sounds dreary it should be noted that Prefab Sprout isn't one of those grim British raincoat bands. The group has a number of wonderfully upbeat moments, such as on the exhilarating "Hey Manhattan!" and "Cars and Girls," a clever commentary on Bruce Springsteen's preoccupation with automobiles and women. © Michael Sutton /TiVo
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Pop - Publicado el 30 de junio de 1992 | Epic

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Pop - Publicado el 1 de enero de 1997 | Columbia

Due to Paddy McAloon's obsessive perfectionism, Andromeda Heights was the first Prefab Sprout album in seven years. Of course, it was greeted with anticipation, but the album doesn't quite fulfill the hopes of the group's fervent followers. On one hand, it doesn't deliver enough after the sweeping Jordan: The Comeback, since it is just a collection of 12 well-crafted songs. On the other hand, the sound of Andromeda Heights is so similar to all of Prefab Sprout's previous albums, it's hard to believe that it took McAloon so long to write the album. Even with these faults, Andromeda Heights is a solid Prefab Sprout record, filled with elegant melodies, wry lyrics and immaculate production, but after seven years, that nevertheless ranks as a disappointment. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Publicado el 1 de enero de 1997 | Columbia

Due to Paddy McAloon's obsessive perfectionism, Andromeda Heights was the first Prefab Sprout album in seven years. Of course, it was greeted with anticipation, but the album doesn't quite fulfill the hopes of the group's fervent followers. On one hand, it doesn't deliver enough after the sweeping Jordan: The Comeback, since it is just a collection of 12 well-crafted songs. On the other hand, the sound of Andromeda Heights is so similar to all of Prefab Sprout's previous albums, it's hard to believe that it took McAloon so long to write the album. Even with these faults, Andromeda Heights is a solid Prefab Sprout record, filled with elegant melodies, wry lyrics and immaculate production, but after seven years, that nevertheless ranks as a disappointment. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Publicado el 5 de mayo de 1997 | Sony Music CG

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Pop indie - Publicado el 29 de septiembre de 1999 | Columbia