MVD, it appears, is single-handedly reviving the Squeeze / Difford & Tilbrook story, tendering its sparkling release of Glenn Tilbrook's DVD Live in New York City (here) alongside Chris Difford's latest CD, Cashmere if You Can, a disc that very richly demonstrates why the two collaborators had done so well together in earlier days: kindred aesthetics, concurring bases. Cashmere is very much in line with Live, though it certainly deviates in significant fashion, and not only does the CD benefit from the musical and production talents of Leo Abrahams (Brian Eno, David Byrne, etc.) but Kate St. John as well (Roger Eno, Channel Light Vessel, solo).
1975 in fact alternates between being obliquely and straightforwardly self-revelatory while historically revealing, with liner notes keying the listener in even closer to the poetic summations—more than a little painful but ultimately redemptive. Difford followed the standard rock star formula, went through hell, and came out the other end a bit humbler but, thank Christ, still every inch as talented, this release proving to be his most mature and textured, a bit Brian Wilsonish at times. What may surprise, however, is that there's a good deal more folk here than pop.
Brother in arms Tilbrook appears to be the cat carrying the brasher pop element while Difford has grown more pensive and melancholy, reconciled to what the past has meant to his personal present, Al Stewartesque in Sidney Street, a beautifully laconic song that simultaneously demonstrates how sympathetic the band is to his wont, sensitive to the gentle pastorale before, heh!, launching into a Troggsy intro passage in Cotton Tops. Given the savory aspect of so many elements of this offering, one must suspect the estimable Mr. Difford and his generation are finding what mine did: the end of youth is the end of nothing but only the beginning of the rest of everything. And I hope to hell he keeps Abrahams as a cohort, 'cause the guy's an immense presence here, well matched to Chris.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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