Glenn Tilbrook Transatlantic Ping Pong

With both songwriting partners releasing solo albums this year, it seems that Squeeze, as a band, might be as good as over. In fact, Transatlantic Ping Pong is Glenn Tilbrook’s second solo release and it hardly finds himself putting his past firmly behind him. There’s no doubt that Tilbrook has the ability to write a good tune (which he usually did in Squeeze), but his lyrical ability is a lot more unpredictable. When penning the more earnest lyrics, he can wear his heart on his sleeve and seem sincere while doing it. But when he tries to be more light-hearted and humorous, he is much more likely to fall flat — "Hot Shaved Asian Teens” just isn’t a very good song, despite name-checking Mitchell Froom. When he does reunite with former partner Chris Difford for "Where I Can Be Your Friend,” their first song together in six years, the results are disappointing and anti-climactic. At the end of the day, Transatlantic Ping Pong demonstrates that Tilbrook is more than capable of penning an album which is just as good as Chris Difford. But neither is able to recapture the glory days of Squeeze at the top of their game. Perhaps they are just getting older, or maybe the end product always was greater than the sum of the parts. (Compass)