I said that if the “taster” single, “Everybody Sometimes” was an indication of how this album would go, then Glenn Tilbrook’s Happy Ending was bound to be as much of a joy to listen to as any of his best work with the beloved Squeeze. And I was right. And the greater beauty of this record is its low-voltage vibe – acoustic guitars rule the day.
Let’s dive right in – “Persephone” immediately strikes me as a loving nod to Andy Partridge/XTC; a gorgeous acoustic-based riff laced with strings and a (by now standard impassioned) Tilbrook vocal; “Mud Island” is a weird, kazoo and bongo propelled number that’s strangely hypnotic and charming. “Everybody Sometimes” is an “I can hear this on the radio” instant pop classic; “Hello There” shimmers with tight, clean harmonies and a warm tune. “Kev And Dave” is a light-hearted duet that (I’m presuming) is Glenn with Dennis Greaves of Nine Below Zero/The Truth (there’s a name we haven’t heard in years); “Fruit Cake” is a waltz-like trip down memory lane of a relationship gone awry (think “Up The Junction” or “Vicky Verky”).
It’s Glenn Tilbrook – nowhere does he go wrong on this album. How can he? With that voice, the guitar skill and his songwriting credentials, you’d be hard-pressed to find anything to criticize. With Squeeze or on his own, Glenn Tilbrook is still truly one of the greats.