Essential New Music: Squeeze’s “Cradle To The Grave”


Unless you’re an avid Anglophile, it probably won’t matter that Cradle To The Grave, Squeeze’s first album of original material since 1998, is inspired by British radio personality and comedian Danny Baker, and a BBC sitcom of the same name. While Chris Difford’s lyrics have a nostalgic bent and are full of vivid details and characters, that’s nothing new for him. Glenn Tilbrook’s music is also nostalgic, but that’s only because it contains the twists and turns of classic Squeeze songs such as “Pulling Mussels (From The Shell)” or “Goodbye Girl.”

At age 58, Tilbrook still sings in a youthful tenor that hints at blue-eyed soul, especially evident when the cheery “Happy Days” moves toward its gospel coda. Since reconvening (for a second time) in 2007, Squeeze has been an oldies act, even rerecording its hits for 2010’s Spot The Difference. The energetic, bouncy Cradle To The Grave shows there’s still some creative juice left in Squeeze.

—Steve Klinge