Which, in a fortunate coincidence, brings me to my current musical obsession:
You can mock all you like. This record is fabulous. It's just so earnest, so musically pure and heartfelt, yet maintains a sense of humour about itself, so it doesn't feel like the group is trying hard to "keep it real" (unlike, say, refusing to use any sonic equipment made after 1963, which is just stupid). Instead, they acknowledge their sentimentality, embrace it, and refuse to apologise for their actions:
But if you see a man crying, hold his hand, he's my friend.
If these words sound corny, switch this off, I don't care.
The album is filled with wonderful tracks: "The Celtic Soul Brothers" is as good as an opening song as you'll ever going to hear, delineating the record's intent with broad strokes; "Jackie Wilson Said" (a Van Morrison cover) is transformed into a majestic love song, full of bombast and swing; "I'll Show You" contains the quote mentioned above, and is a lament on all the people left behind in today's world (or Thatcher's world, if we're considering the time period, but anyway).
And, rounding off the album, there's "Come On Eileen". Taken in context, the song is altered beyond all recognition; it transcends the "song played at weddings after Wham!" label it has been afflicted with, and becomes an affirmation of the album's principles; a joy-filled celebration of soul, pure and true.
I'm off to enjoy the sunshine.