A New House, the follow-up to the Top 20 album The Hipsters, is full of confidence, courage and rekindled passion for this new lease of life that Deacon Blue have.
Far from harking back to past glories, the album is a collection of depth and passion.
The melodic and rhythmic energy of A New House comes together on the lead single and title track, one of many with thoughtful lyrics on the album.
“I remember driving out when we were kids to see a new house being built in the suburbs,” singer Ricky Ross says. “It was as if they were trying to contain the countryside, building roads and houses on it. But you can never quite contain it.”
Almost every track on here could be interpreted both as a straightforward love song and as a metaphorical comment upon the nature of Scotland as a nation and its relationship with its closest neighbours.
Ascribing meaning to the reflective, string-laden lyrics of Win, for example (“when tomorrow comes / we’re out of here / gonna pack some things / gonna be our year”) might be putting so many unintended words in his mouth, but it’s undoubtedly a testament to the quality of Ross’ lyricism that these songs allow multiple open-ended but seemingly complete interpretations. Only Our New Land is unequivocal in its meaning.
Musically A New House is as polished as ever, although for a band who once seemed to course with the euphoric lifeblood of the working class Scots character, a symphonic sweep which puts the listener in mind of Elbow and a buoyant folk-rock reminiscent of latter-day Dylan feel slightly second-hand. Yet its heart is unmistakably Deacon Blue, and their many long-time admirers will love it.<