Paddy McAloon had not yet found the key to the elegant compositions that made Prefab Sprout distinctive when it came time to record their debut, Swoon. He certainly tries hard to make his sophisticated contemporary pop sound distinctive, but the problem is that he does too many things at once -- the lyrics are overstuffed, and the music has too many chord changes and weird juxtapositions, as he tries to put white-funk beats to carefully crafted melodies. A few moments work, such as "Couldn't Bear to Be Special," but Swoon is primarily of interest as a historical item, since it only suggests the promise the band later filled.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine