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Glenn Tillbrook

TRANSATLANTIC PING PONG (Compass) • Glenn Tilbrook

Superb cheeky survivor pop, from one of its true and perennially young statesmen.

Glenn Tilbrook continues his rise from the ashes of Squeeze fame into the role of the indie solo star he is indefatigably becoming. Just a glance through his website with no real account of his notorious 25 year history with Squeeze gives the clear impression that his career is going on Now. His energy is well revealed in our 2002 interview following a show that blew everyone present off their feet. His fiery solo debut The Incomplete Glenn Tilbrook is seen and raised here with a batch of songs that prove Tilbrook hasn't missed a half step. He's moving faster now, in fact.

Half of this great new record was actually cut with mutual friends in Nashville, at Toy Box Studio on the East side, with the help of Bill Lloyd, Michael Webb, Kyle Melancon, Lee Warren, Bill Davis, and others. The other half was cut in England, and mixed in various far flung locations. The artist is covering the globe in an RV, playing every radio station and listening room worth its salt along the way. Like Richard Thompson, Glenn Tilbrook has not already been a huge star in band format, he is the entire package as a solo artist and more--as a stand alone player, a singer, a writer, and an entertainer, he is all there.

The single and opening song, "Untouchable," is world class grown up pop music, co-written with Chris Braide who sings and plays guitar and keys on the cut. It’s my favorite on the record, and arguably the Squeeziest. Along with the cover of "Genitalia of a Fool," Glenn penned five alone and co-wrote two with Briade, one with his former Squeeze partner Chris Difford, one each with Steve Poltz (though I find the title "Hot Shaved Asian Teens" pretty revolting, it’s a bad jam), Ben Jones, and George Hartner. Many angles of relationship get handled in humorous and poignant ways, with penetrating English wit. There’s a slew of good players from both sides of the pond in play, but we particularly enjoyed the genre-bending steel playing of Lee Warren, the bass and guitar work of Bill Lloyd, and the multi-instrumentalism of the artist himself.

Check the clips on the Listen page, and we know you’ll agree that Glen Tilbrook is that needle in the haystack, that elusive necessity called pop for grownups, and that you need to buy it, here. • FG

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glenntilbrook.com      compassrecords.com

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