If you enjoyed the Numbers' self-titled debut, you will doubtless find much to like about Those the Brokes, not so much a follow-up as a seamless continuation of the sound, style and subject matter of that album. The corollary, of course, is that this is unlikely to persuade any further those doubters (such as myself) who remain unconvinced by that debut. Such changes as there are involve the application of a few string arrangements by Robert Kirby (best known for his work on Nick Drake's albums), and an intensification of the tendency to over-egg matters. Too many of these songs are, like the opening "This Is a Song", slim ideas tricked out with arrangements that meander too pointlessly before returning to the hook. Not that they need encouragement to sing choruses that are repeated pitilessly over and over, though without imprinting the songs too deeply in one's consciousness. At times, in fact, the album seems like one long song, so faithfully do the lyrics adhere to the basic theme of being torn between two lovers, of love as a cross that must be borne with reproach and regret balancing in uneasy equilibrium upon its spars.
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