"excess moderation": reviews

Q Magazine review, January 1997 

**** (out of 5) 

Review by Mark Cooper 

    Having recently parted company with A&M for the second time of asking, this double CD retrospective is a kind of backroads memoir to their 20 years of music-making that includes oodles of alternate takes and B-sides as well as the familiar versions of key songs like Revue, Separate Beds and their two best songs of the '90s, Cold Shoulder and Some Fantastic Place. From early nudge-nudge moments like Model, Chris Difford quickly graduated to being a insightful student of (among other things) the collision between the lads' life and incipient domesticity, while Glenn Tilbrook continued to toss off the tunes, guitar solos and vocals to match. If Tilbrook's flair for pastiche occasionally threatens to render the band curiously anonymous, it's precisely that range that has enabled this band to chronicle 20 years of embattled masculinity with such wit, heart and versatility. 

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