Reason #246: Sweets From A Stranger

squeeze The following song titles from the Squeeze album Sweets From A Stranger wouldn’t necessarily  give the prospective listener the feeling the band were totally secure of the direction they were headed, do they: Out Of Touch, I Can’t Hold On, Stranger Than The Stranger On The Shore, When The Hangover Strikes, I mean, you can see it, right? “Sonic Doubt And Insecurity” could have been an alternate title. And the cover would seem to fit that title, too. One would be right to think the band were, perhaps, having difficulty deciding what direction to pursue, a quandary a lot of bands were facing in 1982 now that I think about it.

Sweets From A Stranger is not believed to be up to the band’s late ’70’s/early ’80’s high standards, and compared to those exceptional albums, it’s not. BUT…I think this, and the remainder of the squeeze discography during the ’80’s and ’90’s (especially Some Fantastic Place. What a beautiful album that is!) is in dire need of a reassessment.

The only song most will be familiar with here is Black Coffee In Bed, and this one still sounds great in a car and remains a Classic Squeeze Song. Those more familiar with the band probably know When The Hangover Strikes, a slow, jazzy late night number, and kind of atypical for Squeeze. The rest of the album could all be considered Squeeze obscurities, or even filler if you’re a big curmudgeon, and most casual fans have written this album off as substandard squeeze fare. I did, for a long time, but something made me revisit those abandoned aural orphans about a year ago, and that’s when I discovered that this, and most of the rest, are exceptional at best and pretty decent at worst, and all totally worthy of a listen or two. This one is lies somewhere between decent and exceptional, but if you must start somewhere and haven’t heard Some Fantastic Place I humbly suggest you RUN and pick up 5 copies, one for the car, one for home play, one for a backup and two to introduce this great LP to two of your bestest pals. Too bad that one came out at the dawn of the ’90’s…

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