The album is more innovative than it sounds: Since Difford didn't often sing lead in Squeeze, his lower, rougher voice instantly removes some of the songs' original brightness. Furthermore, rather than Squeeze's distinctive keyboard-driven pop sound, Difford presents these 10 tracks with slower, sparser and twangier arrangements. The new approach successfully rejuvenates some of the group's best-known singles: Instead of its original carefree groove, "Tempted" drips with sorrow, and its chorus of "tempted by the fruit of another" sounds more like a confession than a celebration.
Stripped of its boisterous keyboards, Squeeze's first single, 1978's "Take Me I'm Yours," turns into an eerie torch song when Difford's whisper is paired with Dorrie Jackson's delicate moan. Although Jackson's vocals do add a softness to these covers, she seems little more than a Tilbrook substitute on more fast-paced numbers such as "Slap and Tickle." Despite being such an obvious trip down memory lane, "Story" feels more like a fresh beginning for Difford than a nostalgic last gasp.
-- Catherine P. Lewis