41. The Beautiful South – Quench

The Beautiful South - Quench

41. The Beautiful South – Quench (1998)

1. How Long’s a Tear Take to Dry?
2. The Lure of the Sea
3. Big Coin
4. Dumb
5. Perfect 10
6. The Slide
7. Look What I Found in My Beer
8. The Table
9. Window Shopping for Blinds
10. Pockets
11. I May Be Ugly
12. Losing Things
13. Your Father and I

Who is/are The Beautiful South?

Make haste to Wikipedia! “The Beautiful South was an English pop/rock group formed in 1988 by two former members of the Hull group the Housemartins”.

I couldn’t have put it better myself.

Why did you buy this album?

This is one of my wife’s albums. Having seen The Beautiful South (supported by Barenaked Ladies no less), ‘Quench‘ was given to her a a Christmas present. She loves it.

What’s it like?

It’s mostly radio friendly pop rock, nothing too offensive musically. Lyrically, it veers from absurdism (‘The Table‘), to innuendo (‘Perfect 10‘), to unintentional nonsense (‘How Long’s a Tear Take to Dry‘, ‘Window Shopping for Blinds‘).

After listening to it now, do you (still) like this album?

I wanted to like this, I really did. I’ve always dismissed the Beautiful South as purveyors of fairly bland pop with lyrics that sound more clever than they actually are. I have not quite had my opinion challenged by this album.

Musically, there’s a lot to like. Each song is finely crafted, well arranged, and a little-too-well produced. The problem I have is the lyrics…

I just can’t get the lyrics from the opening track, ‘How Long’s a Tear Take to Dry?‘, out of my head; “I’m so sorry, (make it plural) / My heart’s broken, (mine’s the same) / I still love you (make it plural)…”

“Make it plural”? What’s this supposed to mean?

Him: “I still love you”

Her: “Make it plural”

Him: “Okay, I still loves yous?”


Follow that up with songs about big coins, a threatening table, and a slide, plus ‘Perfect 10‘, which was on the radio almost constantly in 1998, and I’m losing interest quickly.

Any stand-out tracks?

Not for the right reasons. Mostly because ‘How Long’s a Tear Take to Dry?‘ and the awful “make it plural” lyric therein will not leave my head.

Rating out of 10?

5/10. With apologies to my wife… I tried…

Next up: Bellowhead – Hedonism


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