Beloved British sophisti-pop act Prefab Sprout returns this fall with Let’s Change the World With Music, the reclusive act’s first new album in eight years and a long-lost follow-up of sorts to 1990’s Jordan: The Comeback.
Due out Sept. 7 in the U.K. on Kitchenware Records, the 11-track album finds Prefab mastermind and acclaimed lyricist Paddy McAloon reverting to the band’s moniker after recording under his own name for the first time with 2003’s I Trawl the Megahertz.
According to a press release from Kitchenware, McAloon began work on Let’s Change the World With Music in 1992 as a follow-up to Jordan: The Comeback. In the last couple years — following the release of an expanded reissue of the Prefabs’ classic 1985 sophomore effort Steve McQueen — McAloon revisited those early-’90s songs, “some of his personal favorite compositions.”
According to McAloon’s record label:
The record kicks off with the hip-hop influenced hook-laden piano-led “Let There Be Music,” which sets the tone for the rest of the record. … The 11 tracks are rejoiceful and uplifting, striking an endearingly familiar chord, all the while sounding fresh and timeless. Highlights are aplenty and include the celestial “Ride,” the jazzy sway of “I Love Music” and the melancholic “Sweet Gospel Music.”
After McAloon abondoned work on the Let’s Change the World With Music in 1993 — reportedly because his label was unhappy with the length of the proposed album, which was to be produced by Thomas Dolby — Australian singer Wendy Matthews recorded two of its tracks, “Ride” and “God Watch Over You,” for her 1994 album The Witness Tree.
The forthcoming album, however, does not feature re-recordings of the old songs, but, rather, finished versions, according to rock biograher Graeme Thomson, who recently interviewed McAloon and listened to the finished record:
In terms of what it sounds like, I’d say it falls pretty neatly between Jordan and (1997’s Andromeda Heights), which of course makes sense as these are the original recordings Paddy made (alone) of these songs, dating back to 1992: they have not been re-recorded, but have been “baked in the oven,” as Paddy put it, by Calum Malcolm. It sounds finished, though. Definitely a proper, coherent and thematically unified album. The sound is pretty synthetic (not a lot of “natural” band sounds, so probably closer to Andromeda than Jordan), but the songs by and large are wonderful.
Thomson, whose full interview has not yet been published, describes McAloon as having a bad case of “release anxiety,” with “hundreds and hundreds of unreleased songs lying in boxes at home,” yet, at the same time, he’s reluctant to “let them out into the world.” McAloon told him, “Here I am, blinking into the light reluctantly. The man who tries to get through his life by not touching the sides. That’s me. I cannot deny it.”
1. “Let There Be Music”
3. “I Love Music”
4. “God Watch Over You”
5. “Music Is A Princess”
6. “Earth: The Story So Far”
7. “Last Of The Great Romantics”
8. “Falling In Love”
9. “Sweet Gospel Music”
10. “Meet The New Mozart”
11. “Angel Of Love”