As someone whose youth was soundtracked by Swoon and Steve McQueen, a new album from Paddy McAloon (who now is Prefab Sprout) is inevitably a promise and a gift. It's been more than a decade since his last proper album, years he's spent struggling with tinnitus and a detached retina and just possibly the legend of his younger self. Crimson/Red suggests he hasn't lost his muse, but maybe his unwillingness to share it with us has left it a little pale and wan. This is a record about ageing and music-makers (Dylan, Jimmy Webb, McAloon himself) and maybe it's a little self-obsessed. The sound is plump and cushiony and a little dated (though a wonderful example of how you can do lush on a DIY budget), the songs are full of wit (on The Devil Came A Calling, Old Nick tempts Paddy with "a mansion on Fellatio Drive"), but more crafted than felt. There's a lot to like, but not to love. This is a perfectly fine record, but my heart didn't skip a beat and I think that still matters. Even at my advanced age.