Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Flowers in the Dirt Album Review

Release Date: June 1989

Artwork: A strong album title and a decent album cover. No major complaints at all here.

General Comments: The longest gap of his career between albums saw the slow start of a critical rebirth and he got his best reviews since TOW. A little mention to a couple of classic Macca tracks released between Press to Play and Flowers in the Dirt, these are Once Upon a Long Ago and Back on My Feet, both of which were of very high quality and a good sign of what was to come. This album caused great excitement as it was to be followed by his first tour in 10 years and it was good enough to play many of the tracks live. There are some stellar Macca moments on this album, a couple of duds and of course some great b-sides that should have made the cut. Nothing changes in Maccaland then!

Track by Track (based on my LP vinyl version):

1. My Brave Face
What a song and what a return to the music scene. This is joyous, instant, has great lyrics, a great tune and is simple but complex. Elvis Costello has a very positive influence on this song. This could have been a Beatle single it is that good. Love the cover to this single - I bought the cassette single of this one! Has a great b-side by the way, 'Flying to My Home', check it. 10/10
2. Rough Ride
A bit of a come down after that start with one of the weak songs on the album.A sort of a blues jam. This should have been the b-side and 'Flying to My Home' replacing it. Has some cheesy production that was cheesy even then.  I get bored of this track very quickly. 4.5/10
3. You Want Her Too
The best duet Paul has done. Paul and Elvis work perfectly on this and they play their rolls to type. Good tune, funny and really well put together. Love the harmonies too. 8/10
4. Distractions
Just gorgeous. A clever ballad in the same class as 'Here, there and Everywhere' It is that good. Lovely. 9/10
5. We Got Married
Another high quality ballad. Some of the lyrics are a little weak and it edges on a power ballad at times but that is being very picky. Beautiful really. 7.5/10
6. Put it There
Three is a row, another almost perfect ballad. Mainly Paul on acoustic guitar. This song is so instant that you are singing along before it ends. A Macca classic. 8/10
7. Figure of Eight
This track I have never really fallen in love with like many have. It is an average rocker in my opinion, good fun but relatively bland. I know many will disagree. One day it will really click with me I am sure. It is growing on me but very very slowly.  6/10
8. This One
When this was released I was convinced that it would get to number 1. It is one of the most instant and catchy songs Paul has ever released. High quality is this one! 9/10
9. Don't Be Careless Love
Another Costello co-write. This is the most frustrating song on the album. It is such a great song, but I don't like the production at all. Has a gorgeous introduction but I hate the backing track. Still enjoyable though but the demo of this is just wonderful. 7/10
10. That Day is Done
This is another excellent song and another Costello co-write. It is different than the type of song Paul is used to doing and he sings with soul, passion and longing. This gets me quite emotional.  8/10
11. How Many People
A happy song with a reggae beat. Not one of my favs but OK.  5.5/10
12. Motor of Love
The production of this song has dated it and it is over long but is quite a good song really. 5.5/10

Overall score: 88/120
Overall score indexed: 73%


  1. figure of 8 is atleast a 10!!!!

  2. Now this was a return to grace! He does so much better with a talented collaborator. All the songs are very good. Motor of Love I found haunting. I played this album forever in the car!