The Lilac Time

Astronauts

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The last album by Stephen Duffy's underrated pop combo is, in many ways, its strongest. The group's gorgeous acoustic-based sound had been perfected by this point, and Duffy offers up his strongest batch of songs to date. From the sensual opener, "In Iverna Gardens," to the exquisite closing ballad, "Madresfield," this is a consistently great album. "Grey Skies and Work Things" is typical of the album's mood -- quiet, sensual, melancholy, and romantic. "Dreaming" is a slight return to the dance-oriented sound that typified Duffy's pre-Lilac Time solo work, but it still fits in well with the more subdued acoustic numbers. The Lilac Time's only release on Creation Records, Astronauts sold poorly and the group split shortly thereafter. However, it remains -- along with the solo follow-up, Music in Colors -- Duffy's strongest work and a great introduction to his talents.

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