If ‘...Bicycle Case‘ and ‘What Bird…‘ were the albums where the Lucksmiths seemed a little over-involved in British history, then this album could be seen as the album where the band graduated to more contemporary content.
Sure, there are still a book-ish track (World Encyclopedia Of Twentieth Century Murder), and one imagining of British prison widows (Train Robbers’ Wives), but the rest are wonderfully ensconced in the inner urban milieu.
These are songs about parks (Under the Rotunda), entendre (Little Athletics), and disappointing incompatibilities (Punchlines) – each strong tracks that are infectious in a more subtle and longlasting fashion than much of the band’s more direct earlier work.
This is also an album with two standout travelling songs – both more bittersweet than is typical for this topic. Caravanna captures the melancholy of craving change and movement, but also drifting apart:
Guess How Much I love You is an unembarassed ode to the travails of separation with some great imagery and aching sentiments.
The album is diluted by a couple of weaker tracks that prompt me to skip most times (Up, Columns of Steam), but still stands as one of their strongest efforts.
File under: A Good Kind of Tweenessness