The combination here of opulent arrangement and howling vocal is effectively uncomfortable ‘ like a magnificent old gin palace full of ragged, embittered drunks. The lead singer sticks to a polite, precise croon and then suddenly lunges at you, deliberately and aggressively – it’s nasty. We’ve all tried to play good listener to someone who’s grieving and had them suddenly crack and turn on us. The only thing you can do is squirm and take it, and that’s what ‘Smoke Gets In Your Eyes’ makes you do too: I find it quite a cold, gruelling song to listen to. A marvellous and original reading, to be sure, digging something out of the song that a host of band singers hadn’t spotted. But they were team players, and loneliness this stark needs something more selfish.

Score: 7

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