Peter Blegvad

Choices Under Pressure

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Blegvad reprises songs from some out-of-print albums (solo and with Slapp Happy) in a stripped-down acoustic setting and adds two new numbers to entice the completists among his small cult audience. The songs are well chosen, though none sound remarkably different in their new minimal arrangements. But Choices Under Pressure remains a retrospective that's greater than the sum of its re-recordings. Whether singing about watching his "Daughter" grow up or pondering Romantic poets in the womb ("The Unborn Byron"), Blegvad understands that even the oddest dramas are best rendered in a few simple details. Onetime Blegvad producer XTC's Andy Partridge co-wrote the album's two new tunes. Recommended, especially to fans of the expatriate singer/songwriter's curious but endearing U.K. comic strip, Leviathan.

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