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Paul Heaton reunites with his Beautiful South vocal foil Jacqui Abott on What Have We Become, a genial set of songs with solid melodies, witty lyrics and charming interplay between the two leads.

“DIY” finds Abbott neatly parodying the country music role of the cheated woman; “Moulding of a Fool” is a pop-soul stomper with blackly comic lyrics about consumerism and disillusionment; and “When It Was Ours” turns the clock back to The Beautiful South’s heyday with a bittersweet orchestral-pop duet about revisiting the past.

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abott

What Have We Become

(Virgin EMI)

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