Glenn Tilbrook — Happy Ending
• The main vocalist and melodicist for Squeeze, also half of one of the greatest songwriting teams in alternative music.
• Tilbrook vždy vynikal ve vyprávění o více–méně známých postavách, takže ani není překvapivé, že sedm z těchto dvanácti tracků má své postavy už přímo v názvu. Z "Persephone" je "Eleanor Rigby" — stylem komorního strunného kvarteta přechod na "Rupert" (ano, řeč je o panu Murdochovi) pop crunch a "Peter" je založena na zpěvu singalong chorus. Tilbrook využívá své hrdiny jako opěrného bodu, kolem něhož konstruuje podrobné slajdy života. Tlačí svůj vlastní charakteristický postup nejen k unplugged zvuku, ale také ve stylu indické raga kytary a perkusí tabla na psychedelické “Mud Island”. ♠
• Ale detailněji, aby to bylo ještě více příjemné, jsou: kromě Tilbrooka (postaral se o mistrovskou basu a kytaru (plus iPad keys a “atmospherics”)), full string arrangements od Lucy Shaw, kazoos, sitár, indické harmonium, ukulele, bonga a čínské bubny. Přispívá také Squeeze–bubeník Simon Hanson, multi–instrumentalista Chris McNally a Nine Below ZERO Guitar Man Dennis Greaves. Tilbrookovo potomstvo? Leon (ve věku 10), spolu–napsal skladbu “Bongo Bill” a Leonovi pomáhá s vokály také sedmiletý Wesley. Nakažlivě veselá “Kev and Dave” je o dvou bratrech, kteří provozují hospodu.
• V přístupu Tilbrooka je pozorovatelný náznak odkazu Beatles, ale jen zřídka v duchu George Harrisona, tedy s použitím slide kytary, která je v “Hello There”," který vypadá jako docela povedená Badfinger B–strana.
• Tilbrook, to je výrazný chlapecký zpěv, kreativní produkce a nápadité melodie, takže je pravděpodobné, že mnoho posluchačů si ani neuvědomí, že je to akustické album.
• Od své komfortní zóny popového pohodlí se jen málokdy odváží vyjít ven. Vrchol: “Everybody Sometimes”. Kavárensky pěkné album s pouhými záblesky geniality. Chtěl bych říci, že mám obrovskou lásku a úctu ku Glenn Tilbrookovi a jeho hudbě; jeho talent a schopnosti jsou mimo jakoukoli diskusi, zřejmě je i jedním z největších britských skladatelů všech dob. Nicméně, přes jeho renomé, Glennova práce nebyla vždy důsledně brilantní a tak nové sólové album nutně neznamená, že to je dílo génia..., ano, je velice propracované. Ale nezblázním se z něj, i když zprvu jsem myslel, že to zanechá na mne trvalé následky.
Location: London, UK
Album release: 28th April, 2014
Record Label: Quixotic Records
01. Ray 3:58
02. Persephone 3:26
03. Mud Island 2:41
04. Rupert 3:00
05. Everybody Sometimes 3:20
06. Dennis 3:05
07. Hello There 2:50
08. Bongo Bill 2:30
09. Kev and Dave 3:37
10. Fruit Cake 3:08
11. Peter 3:11
12. Ice Cream 1:33
Jonny Abrams | Published on January 9th, 2014
• Positively gleaming: yes, that seems to be the best way to sum up Glenn Tilbrook’s brand new solo album Happy Ending.
• It’s a mystical kind of gleam, to be more precise, one supplemented with the abundant good nature and melodic mastery that’s always bubbled up through his work, be it with Squeeze or otherwise.
• There’s still a lovely, satisfying timbre to Tilbrook’s voice which, wrapped around the playfully affectionate odes to various people in his life, makes the songwriting sound simple even when it’s really quite sophisticated.
• Happy Ending is marked also by exotic instrumentation: an ace twisty string arrangement mirroring the vocal melody on windswept would–be epic “Persephone”, kazoo on the Revolver–evoking “Mud Island”, thumb piano and clattering percussion on “Rupert”…even tooting seaside organ on the joyous singalong that is closing track “Ice Cream”.
• “Bongo Bill”, written alongside and featuring the voice of his 10–year–old son Leon, is adorable with its tale of going to watch a football team lose 5:0, sealing the deal with the quietly wonderful line “He had a girl, she didn’t stay / He wondered why it was that way”.
• Fine thing it is too, from a musical perspective…but then you could say that for everything here. Would you expect any less from yer man Tilbrook?
• Happy Ending will be released February 10th on Quixotic Records. For more information, please visit the official Glenn Tilbrook website.
• Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!
Written by Hal Horowitz | June 6th, 2014 at 11:04 am | Score: 3 ½
• Those familiar with the bulging Squeeze catalog know the UK band was far more inventive than the power pop that dominated their most memorable music. Deep album tracks showed a darker, less effervescent sound and some moderately successful experimental tendencies that were bubbling under the surface. On his own, Squeeze frontman Glenn Tilbrook sneaks some of that inventiveness into his solo albums resulting in this, his first acoustic release and fourth of original material. Unplugging is nothing new to Tilbrook; he issued his debut solo outing from 2001 in both electric and acoustic versions and also occasionally tours without his rocking Fluffers outfit. But just because electricity is absent, doesn’t mean this is rootsy, strummy folk music.
• On the contrary, Happy Ending sounds like a bunch of top notch, jittery Squeeze songs dialed down just a notch. Tilbrook has always excelled at telling stories about characters so it’s little surprise that seven of these dozen tracks are titled with the name of their main character(s). From “Persephone”’s “Eleanor Rigby”–styled chamber strings to “Rupert”’s (yep, about Mr. Murdoch) pop crunch and “Peter”’s chanting singalong chorus, Tilbrook uses his protagonists as focal points around which to construct detailed slices of life. He pushes his own well known pop element not just for the unplugged sound but also in the Indian raga guitar and tabla percussion of the psychedelic “Mud Island.” There has always been a hint of the Beatles in Tilbrook’s approach, but seldom more so than the George Harrison soundalike slide guitar that propels “Hello There,” which seems like a pretty good Badfinger B side.
• While he probably could have left the fluffy children’s song “Bongo Bill” — complete with vocals from his own 7 and 10 year old sons– for his own B side, there is plenty of inspired, hook heavy music here to satiate any Squeeze fan. With Tilbrook’s distinctive boyish vocals, creative production, and inventive melodies, it’s likely many listeners won’t even realize this is an acoustic album. But most will agree, it adds a unique spin to the singer/songwriter’s established MO without coloring too far outside his pure pop comfort zone. :: http://www.americansongwriter.com/
• There’s something rather idiosyncratic about Glenn Tilbrook’s latest solo album, Happy Ending. There are four reasons why you could very quickly put the sometime Squeeze co–main man in the dock for idiosyncratic tendencies.
• Number 1: it’s all acoustic and no electric guitars. Number 2: Tilbrook’s kids sing backing vocals on a couple of tracks. Number 3: there is no Chris Difford (the other Squeeze main man) presence, either playing or more to the point through his songwriting (in Squeeze’s three decades-plus as performers, Tilbrook writes the music and Difford the lyrics). Number 4: seven out of the 12 tracks have first names in their song titles. Suffused with Tilbrook’s quirks the album may be, but that’s actually a good thing.
• Glenn Tilbrook has consistently shown the priceless ability throughout his career to pen a melody, and Happy Ending houses enough of those melodies to make this LP a pretty pleasurable listen. The stand–outs shine splendidly. None more so than “Everybody Sometimes”, a relentlessly upbeat song that combines a wry look at business intentions and practices with a gorgeous chorus — “There’ll always be another day,” and who could argue with that? — backed up by an on–the–money shuffle beat, ukulele, bongo drums and some beautiful soothing noises that sound like they have been coaxed out of a glockenspiel. The way the song wanders up major chords then slides down minor ones is a master class of pure pop tune–smithing. Plus, the Tilbrook soaring tenor, always a prime selling–point of the best Squeeze songs, is in fine form and losing none of its lustre.
• Happy Ending offers some other pop pleasures, like “Hello There”, a track with ‘60s harmonies, George Harrison–like slide guitar embellishments, and a feel that (the Tilbrook idiosyncracy again) evokes a mid–‘70s Flaming Groovies power–pop vibe. If there is a criticism of the album as a whole, it is somewhat stop-start both in terms of its quality and pace. Hence, “Everybody Sometimes”, a song that sounds like a ready–made introduction to Spring, is followed by the disjointed “Dennis”, which fails to find a groove, succeeds for a fleeting moment, and then manages to lose it — the track that lost its mojo.
• Or take the second track, “Persephone”, another one of the album’s minor triumphs. Its insistently chugging Easybeats’ ““Friday on my Mind” rhythm is complemented by a luscious string arrangement and some delicious Indian raga touches. And so the scene is set, the music is in your head. Tilbrook seems ready to reel off one tune after another in the manner, if not of the standard, of Squeeze’s “East Side Story” (their masterpiece), and then he takes one quirky step too far in the Bollywood burlesque “Mud Island”.
• The LP builds to a strong finish. Final track “Ice Cream” aside, which is an empty knees–up. “Kev and Dave”, “Fruitcake” (a paen to his slightly “bonkers” loved one), and “Peter” are an excellently tuneful run of three. Mention should also be made of the earlier “Rupert” which, as it’s about phone–hacking, is presumably meant to deal with one R. Murdoch. There would doubtless many who wish Tilbrook would take the opportunity to lay into News International and the journalistic ethos it represents. But if he doesn’t do that, his more objective narrative still performs a public service of sorts with a hint of lyrical sardonicism, as he sings “Rupert was humbled and terribly sorry.”
• Full credit to Glenn Tilbrook. Without the comfort blanket of Chris Difford’s lyrics to wrap himself in, he has written all the songs here (bar one co–write) by himself. The instrumentation and arrangements are first class. His voice never dips, and showcases its great quality when it soars. Above all, it’s an album which leaves you in a good mood, something which thousands of LPs have signally failed to do, and for that we should thank him.
Artist Biography by Jason Ankeny
• Singer/composer Glenn Tilbrook teamed with lyricist/guitarist Chris Difford to lead Squeeze, one of the most acclaimed and longest–lived bands to emerge from the new wave era. Often regarded as the Lennon and McCartney of their generation, the duo's smart, sophisticated brand of pop never achieved commercial success commensurate with their critical favor, although singles like "Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)," "Tempted," and "Black Coffee in Bed" remain timeless cult classics. Born August 31, 1957, in London, Tilbrook studied guitar and piano from age six onward and at 13, he made his public debut at a local talent show. He began writing and performing with Difford in 1973 and the following year, they formed Squeeze; the group's self–titled, John Cale–produced debut LP followed in 1978, yielding the minor hit "Take Me, I'm Yours." 1979's Cool for Cats was Squeeze's U.K. chart breakthrough, generating a pair of number two singles, "Up the Junction" and the title track. The follow–up, Argybargy, yielded the lesser hits "Another Nail in My Heart" and "Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)," but solidified the group's critical standing on the strength of Difford's wry, literate wordplay and Tilbrook's crisp, clever melodies.
• Squeeze's masterpiece, East Side Story, followed in 1981, scoring the band's biggest U.S. hit to date with the memorable "Tempted"; though 1982's Sweets From a Stranger cracked the U.S. Top 40, buoyed by the single "Black Coffee in Bed," creative exhaustion forced the band's breakup soon after. A 1983 hits collection, Singles 45's and Under, ultimately went platinum. Tilbrook immediately resumed his collaboration with Difford, however, composing songs for fellow Squeeze alum Jools Holland, as well as Paul Young, Billy Bremner, and Helen Shapiro. The duo also mounted Labelled with Love, a short–lived 1983 stage musical adapted from their songs. A self–titled 1984 album credited simply to Difford and Tilbrook also appeared, but the following year they reunited Squeeze to release Cosi Fan Tutti Frutti; 1987's Babylon and On was their biggest U.S. hit, notching a pair of Top 40 singles in "Hourglass" and "853–5937," but subsequent efforts appealed almost exclusively to their devoted cult following.
• The '90s found Tilbrook guesting on albums by artists including Aimee Mann and the Soft Boys' Kimberley Rew. He officially kicked off a solo career with the release of the single Parallel World on his own Quixotic Records in late 2000. The following year brought the release of another single, This Is Where You Ain't, and his first full–length album, The Incomplete Glenn Tilbrook, which included songs co–written with Aimee Mann ("Observatory") and Ron Sexsmith ("You See Me"). The documentary/concert DVD Glenn Tilbrook: One for the Road (issued in 2006) followed the man on his 2001 North American tour. 2007 proved to be a busy year indeed, with a short Squeeze reunion/tour (their third) as well as the release of the first two volumes (of a proposed five–volume set) of remastered demo recordings, The Past Has Been Bottled and In the Sky Above. In 2008, Tilbrook began working with a new group of musicians and released the four–track teaser Binga Bong!, which was filed under Glenn Tilbrook & the Fluffers. The first full–length from the new group, Pandemonium Ensues, was issued in March of 2009 and featured cameos by Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis (the couple did not appear on the same song, however).
• Tilbrook reunited with Difford in 2010, recording new versions of Squeeze's greatest hits (cheekily calling the album Spot the Difference) and mounting a reunion tour. In 2011, Tilbrook collaborated with Nine Below Zero on an album called The Co–Operative. Over the next couple years, he and Difford worked on new Squeeze material while Tilbrook continued to pursue a solo career, writing and recording Happy Ending, which appeared in April 2014.
Glenn Tilbrook (Solo) Albums:
• Happy Ending
• The Co–Operative (a collaborative album with Nine Below Zero)
• Pandemonium Ensues
• Transatlantic Ping Pong
• The Incomplete Glenn Tilbrook
Squeeze (Original) Albums:
• Some Fantastic Place
• Babylon And On
• Cosi Fan Tutti Frutti
• Difford & Tilbrook
• Sweets From A Stranger
• East Side Story
• Cool for Cats
Squeeze (Compilation) Albums:
• Spot the Difference
• Essential Squeeze
• Big Squeeze: The Very Best Of
• Up The Junction
• Master Series
• Six Of One — Box Set
• Excess Moderation
• Piccadilly Collection
• Greatest Hits
• Singles — 45's and Under
• Live At The Fillmore (vinyl US only release)
• Five Live
• Live At The Albert Hall
• A Round And A Bout
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By Steve Jones on December 5, 2013
• Not one to rest on his multitude of laurels, Glenn Tilbrook is back, ducking and diving, bobbing and weaving, with his fifth non Squeeze album Happy Ending. Inventive, witty and stuffed with a twinkling trove of brand–new melodies, it proves the man’s musicality and sense of craft are more energised than ever.
• The album sprang out of a quiet period in the writing of Squeeze’s forthcoming album, due late 2014. Says Tilbrook, “Momentum’s very important. It went a bit quiet at Chris Difford’s end, so I thought, ‘you know what? I’ll just get on with my own thing and make my own momentum.’”
• The result is a revelation. To begin with, it’s acoustic. “What I’ve tried to do is just strip my writing back to guitar or piano and start out from there. One of the next goals I have is to make a sparse record, because I’m very good at putting in detailed information. I just like doing it.”
• But the details make this even more delightful. Beside Tilbrook on masterly bass and guitar (plus iPad keys and “atmospherics”), there are full string arrangements by Lucy Shaw, kazoos, sitar, Indian harmonium, ukuleles, bongos and Chinese drums. There’s assistance from Squeeze drummer Simon Hanson, multi–instrumentalist Chris McNally and Nine Below Zero guitar man Dennis Greaves. Tilbrook’s offspring Leon (aged 10), co–wrote track ‘Bongo Bill’ and both he and seven–year–old Wesley assist on vocals.
Tracks include the poignant orchestral story–song Persephone; Rupert, a pean to Mr Murdoch that’s far more appealing than he deserves; the infectiously jaunty Kev and Dave, about two brothers who run a pub; and a tender meditation on Beach Boy Dennis Wilson. Tilbrook is yet again in top form when co–writing with his old friend Chris Braide (currently working with Beyonce and Lana Del Ray) on the acerbic but funny dig at big businesses’ lack of accountability in Everybody Sometimes; and there’s a good old knees–up at the end. Lyrics, in Squeeze Chris Difford’s preserve, are all by Tilbrook.
• “I’m really, really vibed up on what I’m doing now,” said Tilbrook recently. “To me, this record takes its place alongside [Tilbrook and The Fluffers’] Pandemonium Ensues and [Squeeze albums] East Side Story, Argybargy and Cool for Cats, which are my favourite records that I have made. So that’s five albums that I’ve thought, ‘Yes! I’ve actually done that properly now’…”
• Happy Ending? Not likely. With something this bouyant, brainy and brilliant, Tilbrook’s just getting going. :: http://www.withguitars.com/