Alan Hull

Squire

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Alan Hull's second solo album, and his first since the dissolution of Lindisfarne, is very much the son of its fathers -- the quiet idiosyncrasies of Pipedream live on, but so does the more commercial sheen of Roll on Ruby, as Squire marches resolutely across 11 songs, any one of which could be called representative. Certainly it is no longer at all apparent that his star had dipped somewhat over the past few years; listened to from a distance, any of the songs here could have pursued Lindisfarne's biggest hits to the top of the chart, especially the title track, with its dryly humorous lyric and ever-so-catchy chorus, while "One More Bottle of Wine" and "Golden Oldies" both look forward to the parent band's reincarnation, with songs that insist you sing along with them. There's also a wonderful crash through "Nothin' Shakin' (But the Leaves on the Trees)" to remind listeners of Hull's own roots in the bluesy rock boom of the early '60s -- the Beatles famously included the same song in their Cavern-era live set, and Hull breathes the same beer-and-ciggies-flavored air through his version. It's a lovely LP, then, worth seeking out wherever you can find it, and a reminder that, at his 1970s peak, Hull really was one of Britain's most exquisitely English songwriters.

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