Your basket is empty

Categories :

Similar artists

Albums

HI-RES$13.49
CD$11.49

Pop - Released March 6, 2020 | EMI

Hi-Res
CD$12.99

Pop - Released March 6, 2020 | EMI

After hitting the U.K. Top Five with all three of their prior duo albums, the Beautiful South's Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott return with a generous 16-track set. A tip of the hat to the Clash's double album London Calling, Manchester Calling verifies that Heaton can indeed churn out enough bouncy earworms and playfully acerbic verses to fill the more ambitious length, though it's likely thanks, at least in part, to the three-year gap between records, their longest yet. Opening track "The Only Exercise I Get Is You" is a prime example of an uptempo, clap-along ditty paired with deceptively affectionate lyrics that are volleyed between the couple. The song's listing of alternately snide and self-depreciating exceptions to inactivity include the opening lines "Apart from at the supermarket, walking down the aisle/Apart from when you're angry and I'm trying not to smile…" Later, "A Good Day Is Hard to Find" is another upbeat entry, replete with harmonized vocals, jaunty piano, and a brass section. The reggae rhythms of "If You Could See Your Faults" see Abbott turning self-examination outward, while the country-rock-infused "You and Me (Were Meant to Be Together)" is a humorous feel-good track full of appreciation ("Like cotton wool and tube of superglue/Inspector Morse or Sherlock Holmes to clue/You and me were meant to be together"). The very few more-wistful entries include "Fat of the Land," a piano song that straddles classic country ballad and cabaret, and "The Outskirts of the Dancefloor," which is closer to Bacharach than to anything fit for the clubs. For something completely different, "MCR Calling" examines Heaton's adopted city with nods to hip-hop on a dramatic, sample-filled spoken word track ("They’re pulling down the last building anybody actually liked"). Despite a few poignant moments, Manchester Calling is dominated by lively, playful songs, and though the track list might have been improved by cutting a handful of the more similar ones, the couple can't be justly accused of allowing any filler. © Marcy Donelson /TiVo
CD$14.99

Pop - Released November 16, 2018 | EMI

Arriving in 2018, The Last King of Pop collects 21 songs from the first three decades of Paul Heaton's recording career, including his time with the beloved U.K. alternative pop bands the Housemartins and the Beautiful South, and through his third album with Jacqui Abbott (2017's Crooked Calypso). To sweeten the pot, it also includes two newly recorded tracks. Known for his playful, very often sardonic lyrics, the songwriter seems to poke fun at himself here, opening a record with such a self-aggrandizing title with a song that features someone else on lead, the Jacqui Abbott vehicle "I Gotta Praise." Taking the form of a career-long playlist set on shuffle, from there the collection alternates between decades and projects, with no one incarnation of Heaton appearing back-to-back until the final two exclusive tracks. Necessarily omitting fan favorites with dozens of charting singles under his belt and limited slots here, the Housemartins selections include the hit "Happy Hour" but not their U.K. number one "Caravan of Love." In the case of the Beautiful South, it does include Top Three hits like the group's 1989 debut single "Song for Whoever" and 1998's "Perfect 10," though their sole number one, "A Little Time," while present, takes the form of a re-recorded version with Abbott replacing Briana Corrigan. The song is also transformed from a country-inflected conversation to a rollicking '50s rock ditty. The Heaton-Abbott duets from the 2010s are well-represented, making up more than a third of the track list. Not technically a greatest hits, or even very representative of his career, The Last King of Pop includes only one song from Heaton's three solo albums ("Poems" is taken from 2001's Fat Chance, which was recorded under the alias Biscuit Boy). However, what becomes clear and even emphasized by its jaunty final track, the original song "7" Singles," is that it was curated with an emphasis on "pop." As a set of uptempo Heaton songs that leaves the more poignant and sparer tunes behind, this one's a pleaser, with no harm done setting it on shuffle. © Marcy Donelson /TiVo
CD$14.99

Pop - Released July 21, 2017 | Virgin EMI

Returning for a third dip into the well of smart pop, former Beautiful South members Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott offer Crooked Calypso, a robust marriage of plucky wit, confidence, and heart. Since rekindling their musical partnership in 2014, the two singers have turned out a distinctive brand of musical merrymaking that has resonated with U.K. audiences. There's something refreshingly organic about their big productions, which layer strings and horns over a whip-tight rock combo that sways nimbly between Motown, R&B, and old-fashioned rock & roll within the breadth of just a few notes. As ringleaders, Heaton and Abbott make a winning and surprisingly egoless duo swapping lyrics, harmonizing, and keeping their party buoyant with the effortless grace of lifelong entertainers. Approached with any less skill, the effect of songs like "I Gotta Praise" and "The Fat Man" would come off as uncouth or corny, but the two manage to walk a perfect line of tone that successfully delivers their often barbed witticisms while conveying an underlying sense that they're not only in on the joke, but are also at the butt of it. It's this crafty togetherness that has made their first two records chart successes and helps Crooked Calypso succeed on the same level. From the heartfelt Irish folk tribute "Blackwater Banks" to the unstoppably hooky "People Like Us," this is an engaging and fun listen that is easy to repeat again and again. © Timothy Monger /TiVo
CD$12.99

Pop - Released July 21, 2017 | Virgin EMI

Returning for a third dip into the well of smart pop, former Beautiful South members Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott offer Crooked Calypso, a robust marriage of plucky wit, confidence, and heart. Since rekindling their musical partnership in 2014, the two singers have turned out a distinctive brand of musical merrymaking that has resonated with U.K. audiences. There's something refreshingly organic about their big productions, which layer strings and horns over a whip-tight rock combo that sways nimbly between Motown, R&B, and old-fashioned rock & roll within the breadth of just a few notes. As ringleaders, Heaton and Abbott make a winning and surprisingly egoless duo swapping lyrics, harmonizing, and keeping their party buoyant with the effortless grace of lifelong entertainers. Approached with any less skill, the effect of songs like "I Gotta Praise" and "The Fat Man" would come off as uncouth or corny, but the two manage to walk a perfect line of tone that successfully delivers their often barbed witticisms while conveying an underlying sense that they're not only in on the joke, but are also at the butt of it. It's this crafty togetherness that has made their first two records chart successes and helps Crooked Calypso succeed on the same level. From the heartfelt Irish folk tribute "Blackwater Banks" to the unstoppably hooky "People Like Us," this is an engaging and fun listen that is easy to repeat again and again. © Timothy Monger /TiVo
CD$14.99

Pop - Released October 23, 2015 | Virgin EMI

After the critical and commercial success of 2014's What Have We Become?, which catapulted to number three on the U.K. albums chart for the artists' biggest hit since their Beautiful South days, Paul Heaton and the previously retired (from music) Jacqui Abbott rejoin a year later for the equally satisfying Wisdom, Laughter and Lines. Songwriter Heaton's comprehensive knowledge of and enthusiasm for pop music is on full display again, with songs that hit on Motown, reggae, honky tonk, post-punk, and Eastern European folk, among other styles. Also returning are the songwriter's acerbic wordcraft and talent for ear-catching melodies. The opener, "(Man Is) The Biggest Bitch of All," shows off all of these as a jaunty, '70s Motown-like tune that has Abbott responding to an offer with "Come away with who?...The man who promised that he'd love me 'til the very end/Or the one I caught in family bed…wearing my best friend." "The Austerity of Love" ("the propensity, the depravity, the austerity...") delivers its message via bright reggae, and Heaton does his best Morrissey impression on the consummate "The Horse and Groom" ("This arthritic pain in the pouring rain/Whilst inside on the jukebox Tammy sings again"). Heaton also takes on social issues, per usual, as in the mocking "Lonesome and Sad Millionaire" and the anti-monarchy (among other establishments) "Heatongrad." Songwriting aside, there are also the legendary voices, which go great together now as ever on an album recommended for all who can embrace biting (and very often funny) lyrics and the lovingly nostalgic trip through musical styles. © Marcy Donelson /TiVo
CD$12.99

Pop - Released October 23, 2015 | Virgin EMI

After the critical and commercial success of 2014's What Have We Become?, which catapulted to number three on the U.K. albums chart for the artists' biggest hit since their Beautiful South days, Paul Heaton and the previously retired (from music) Jacqui Abbott rejoin a year later for the equally satisfying Wisdom, Laughter and Lines. Songwriter Heaton's comprehensive knowledge of and enthusiasm for pop music is on full display again, with songs that hit on Motown, reggae, honky tonk, post-punk, and Eastern European folk, among other styles. Also returning are the songwriter's acerbic wordcraft and talent for ear-catching melodies. The opener, "(Man Is) The Biggest Bitch of All," shows off all of these as a jaunty, '70s Motown-like tune that has Abbott responding to an offer with "Come away with who?...The man who promised that he'd love me 'til the very end/Or the one I caught in family bed…wearing my best friend." "The Austerity of Love" ("the propensity, the depravity, the austerity...") delivers its message via bright reggae, and Heaton does his best Morrissey impression on the consummate "The Horse and Groom" ("This arthritic pain in the pouring rain/Whilst inside on the jukebox Tammy sings again"). Heaton also takes on social issues, per usual, as in the mocking "Lonesome and Sad Millionaire" and the anti-monarchy (among other establishments) "Heatongrad." Songwriting aside, there are also the legendary voices, which go great together now as ever on an album recommended for all who can embrace biting (and very often funny) lyrics and the lovingly nostalgic trip through musical styles. © Marcy Donelson /TiVo
CD$7.49

Pop - Released January 1, 2008 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

HI-RES$1.99
CD$1.49

Pop - Released May 1, 2020 | EMI

Hi-Res
CD$1.49

Pop - Released May 1, 2020 | EMI