Sad songs are just the best songs: that’s simply a fact. I’ve always been a sucker for a heartbreak soundtrack, even if I didn’t go through much of it when I was young, mostly by avoiding going out with anyone (if you don’t ask, you won’t be disappointed, as Ross might say), and a lot of it probably comes from spending far too much time with Eyman and trying to out miserable each other.
But when the Sprouts released Steve McQueen it was just a perfect album: tremendous sound from producer Thomas Dolby, a genius cover with the band sitting on a cool old motorbike, and a string of songs about broken hearts. When Love Breaks Down was probably my favourite for such a long time, and it makes sense (miserablism personified, a skinny singer spitting out his heart, and a clip that looked it was made by John Woo but for the lack of guns), although this was really the best thing they’ve ever done: that winding guitar riff, the rolling bass, the lyrics (“what are you, 21? Why don’t you give it a rest / the world is a million”), and the view that changes as the song progresses, from sympathy to the boy to pointing out the simply truths about the situation (“she is a person too / she has her own will”) and even bringing jokes (“why don’t you join the Foreign Legion”, “life’s not complete / ‘til your heart skips a … beat”) like a real friend would.
Just beautiful, like all of their songs were. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmiKqRlfX00