My theory is that everyone seriously into music has time for The Fall. They're just too superlative - in places - not to give them massive amounts of respect.
I have no problem with being a selective Fall fan, and probably err too much to "the Brix Years" for serious Mark E Smith hardcases. I love the early to middle period and The Classical, for me, is the absolute pinnacle of their acheivements. A parity of stupidity and - er, classicality - it marries the phrasing genius of Smith with one of the very best group line-ups in their 27 year career.
So what if MES is a toothless old git now? So what if they haven't released an album of worth in many a year? So what if their back catalogue is being shamelessly exploited by various low-rent record labels? They are one of the biggest unacknowledged influences on British music today and it's time they got the props they are worthy of.
This reminds me of The Velvet Underground. Not musically in the slightest but just on one point - while absolutely great, paved the way for some awful copycats.
This is ultra-soft funk, luxuriating in comfort like the fluffy fur Striplin is wearing on the sleeve. Absolutely adorable, and so finely nuanced that it never cloys and just improves with repeated listening. It's hard to pick one song from this LP not just because they're all so damn brilliant but because each and every one of the songs sounds better nestled between their bedfellows.
Unfortunately this kind of style was robbed of all its subtlety and beauty in the 80's leading to the formula of soulless soul that began to proliferate. Enjoy this album for what it is; a creative apex between the decades.