Prefab-Sprout-A-Prisoner-Of-The-94173There are conflicting elements in many Prefab Sprout songs, and this is no exception. On the surface there’s something of a light pop feel that stems from the vocal treatment and the catchy, soaring melody, filled with hooks – and not just in the chorus but during the verse too. But there’s a harder edge and an epic quality to the arrangement, with its crashing drums and a horn section alongside the rich strings. (The album Andromeda Heights features full orchestral arrangements that sometimes sound like a cross between Ravel and lounge music). The lyrics are something else again, the theme of unrequited love familiar enough, but in this case with a creepy and obsessive revenge element that is unusual. This is a song about stalking, but it’s a stalking of the imagination. There’s little attempt at realism, the song builds on the conceit of the opening line – “I’m a ghost to you now, I’m someone you don’t really wish to see” – and takes a supernatural, gothic turn: “Baby you’ll turn as white as white as snow”. Especially in the verse the words are delivered slowly and in long phrases over a faster moving accompaniment, and Paddy McAloon manages to make this sound both relaxed and menacing at the same time.

Advertisements