Review : Glenn Tilbrook & the Fluffers - Pandemonium Ensues
BillboardLast year's latest in a series of Squeeze reunions has yet to bear any recorded fruit, but one can sense Glenn Tilbrook's revitalized-band jones on his latest project. The Fluffers feature two members from the latest Squeeze lineup (keyboardist Stephen Large and drummer Simon Hanson). And "Pandemonium Ensues" sounds like a band outing, a stylistically broad affair. You can feel the energetic ensemble mind-set from the jaunty, accordion-driven and brimmingly optimistic "Best of Times" to the aggressive instrumental "Too Close to the Sun" that features spoken-word snippets from actor Johnny Depp (whose wife, Vanessa Paradis, guests on "Interest & Love"). The melodic mastery that's long been part of Tilbrook's work is in abundant evidence, whether the setting is hard-rocking ("Slaughtered Artist"), soulful ("Still"), psychedelic ("Happy Disposition") or mellow ("Little Ships"). —Gary Graff...full text
MusicomhHere is an album that is so terrifyingly middle of the road and soullessly mundane it's as if it were on autopilot, travelling a pre-ordained path that pays scant regard to any songwriting ideas that are anything other cataclysmic clichés and sickening blandness.
It has to be a joke, surely. Who calls their backing band The Fluffers? Of all the words available in the rich and majestic tapestry of the English language, entrenched in a culturally dynamic past, meticulously sculpted over thousands of years by a body of diverse parent languages that offers us the most populous and expressive lexicon in the world. The Fluffers. That's like cradling a new born, and announcing this life-changing miracle of life is to be called Mephistopheles. It just doesn't work, and is actually quite offensive.
Far from a bunch of halfwit chancers however, Glenn Tilbrook's The Fluffers have pedigree. Their numbers include Stephen Large (ex-Electric Soft Parade) on keys, and Simon Hanson (former Death In Vegas) on drums. They should really know better than to fraternise with this incredible foray into MOR bleakness. Completing the line-up is Lucy Shaw on bass. That Shaw has a fundamental problem vocally is amply demonstrated by her lead on Product - ironically the only time that Pandemonium Ensues, musically, appears from its own backside, offering up a nice string arrangement and a strong chorus....full text
WashingtonpostGlenn Tilbrook's growing confidence in writing his own lyrics and his characteristically poppy melodies contribute to the innate catchiness of "Pandemonium Ensues," which comes nearly a decade into his solo career.
Tilbrook went solo late in his career, releasing his debut album in 2001, more than 25 years after he co-founded Squeeze, one of the United Kingdom's popular new wave bands of the 1970s.
He's not going it alone, though; his backing band, the Fluffers, add a lot to his uptempo sound. Bassist Lucy Shaw even sings lead on the disjointed "Product," which pairs choppy spoken verses with dreamy, fluid choruses. The rest of "Pandemonium" is pure Tilbrook in style, from the swaying "Best of Times" to the flamboyant energy of "Slaughtered Artiste," which careers forward so fast that Tilbrook nearly trips over his own lyrics....full text
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