Prefab Sprout’s music brings back vivid recollection of past events and forgotten emotions. At the same time, they can also stimulate fantastic imaginary landscapes, never seen in reality. If the word “pop” can refer to the dreamy and magical music that creates these effects on listeners, Prefab Sprout’s music is unmistakably “pop”. It is also at the pinnacle of most pop of the present time.
Above all, “Jordan: the Comeback” is a collection of pop gems that combines both freshness and the scent of ages past. Despite the fact that it is definitely a work bred of its own era, it has a style like some masterpiece pulled from a film library. Here is the tradition of Pop from Rodgers and Hart, to Bert Bacharach, Jimmy Webb and with the traditions of musicals, film music, soul and gospel breathing onto it. And a sense of “blue” that will never fade.
I met Paddy McAloon, the leader of Prefab Sprout, in London. As one of the leading songwriters of the age, he explained his attitude towards songwriting:
“I cherish melody more than anything else, and usually I’ll create a melody by imagining it from the words of the song, or even from the title. As regards the songs themselves, I want to make something that is appealing to everyone. I want to make universal pop songs, going beyond the literary or the intellectual. However until now I’ve never consciously made songs to cater to the taste of a listener, and I will never do so in future. I’m really interested in writing in a straightforward way – I think there’s no other way you can tell things to people.”
Some people may think that Paddy is being too naïve, but possibly such a purity of attitude towards composition is the great secret behind creating such a masterpiece. In other words, Paddy as a songwriter isn’t an artisan, he is, so to speak, a “poet of melody”.
“I’m never going to make a rap or acid house record to follow fashion or trends. I’d like to write songs that will endure for 50 years or more. But I can’t say anything at the moment about whether any of the songs I’ve written so far will become one of those.”
Paddy may be humble, but the songs he’s turned out for “Jordan…” will endure forever and will never decay.