Wednesday, 25 September 2019

The Lilac Time And Love For All Remastered

Get It At Discogs
Abandoning entirely the folk-pop sound of the Lilac Time's first two albums, & Love for All is a worthwhile stylistic detour that results in the first genuinely excellent album of Stephen Duffy's career, including his earlier solo incarnation as Tin Tin. Just over half the album (seven of 12 songs) was produced by XTC's Andy Partridge, with John Leckie covering the others, and the overall sound is akin to Partridge and Leckie's collaboration on the Dukes of Stratosphear records, minus the more obvious '60s pop rip-offs. (Well, discounting "All for Love and Love for All," which cops subtle riffs from the Magical Mystery Tour era and name checks the Quarrymen in the first verse.) Duffy has never before acknowledged much of an interest in either psychedelia or '60s pop, yet his songs fit Partridge and Leckie's atmospheric production touches nicely. Adding a greater reliance on electric guitars and keyboards (mostly piano played by Cara Tivey) to the Lilac Time's formerly acoustic sound, & Love for All manages not only to not overwhelm Duffy's thoughtful lyrics, graceful melodies, or thin but effective vocals, but to enhance them. [The 2006 edition includes four bonus tracks, as well as a four-song BBC session.]

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