I have written about Prefab Sprout and Paddy McAloon before http://rgdinmalaysia.blogspot.com/2009/07/joys-of-listening-to-prefab-sprout.html
There is nothing really I can add to that except to incorporate my thoughts about the newest Prefab Sprout album CRIMSON/RED.
This is Paddy McAloon by himself. He is a one man band at this point – His brother bassist Martin, chanteuse Wendy Smith, and various drummers having long since departed.
Songs like The Best Jewel Thief in the World, List of Impossible Things, Grief Built the Taj Mahal, and The Dreamer are impeccable – Lyrics filled with clever allusions and sparkling wordplay and music that combines Broadway immediacy with sudden melodic shifts. As a singer, McAloon has not lost much. His voice has always moved between different registers for great dramatic effect and he does it here.
There are songs on here that don’t particularly grab me. McAloon is in his 50’s and is a partial recluse married and raising his children in the English countryside and has struggled with a few health problems. He has not toured in years but that’s okay. Many great artists put out wonderful music after they stop touring. I don’t expect him to continue producing the edgier music of his earlier works.
It is nice that someone is still making music like this. BTW came across a new genre expression I’d never heard before in Wikipedia Sophisti-Pop which as described as “a sub-genre of pop that flourished in the UK between the mid-1980s and early 1990s, incorporating elements of soft rock, jazz, new wave, and soul. The genre made extensive use of electronic keyboards, synthesizers, and polished arrangements, particularly horn sections”. Sounds like a good description for Prefab Sprout as well as other bands I liked from era such as Danny Wilson and ABC.