The album itself remains as concise and appealing as it ever has. The opening The District Sleeps Alone Tonight comes on like an old friend, its literate lyrics (turning “You seem so out of context in this gaudy apartment complex” into a sing-a-long line is nothing short of genius) and Beach Boys-esque harmonies proving irresistible. The ambition here is staggering – by the time of second track (and first single) Such Great Heights, it seems impossible. The duo originally referred to this song as the ‘hit’ on the album in a self-deprecating manner, so it must have been heartening for them to watch as it became a bona-fide classic. It’s been covered countless times, sound-tracked endless adverts, tv shows and films and it’s lost none of its potent romanticism. The winning streak continues with the charming Sleeping In, the lyrics of which (“I had that strange dream where everything was exactly how it seemed/Where concerns about the world getting warmer – the people thought they were just being rewarded”) seem even more apposite from the perspective of a decade on.
I wrote this when I was very, very hungover.