(It may seem odd, frivolous, or foolish to be writing about an old pop album while the nation is coming apart mentally and perhaps in the not-too-distant future physically. But nothing I write will change that.)
I can't remember for sure, but I think "Moment to Moment" from this album may have been an eMusic freebie several years ago, before eMusic withered to its present condition. What I do know for sure is that I had it in a playlist of eMusic stuff that I hadn't really listened to, and which I played more or less in the background while working (on software stuff, not writing).
The plaintive closing refrain, if you want to call it that, kept catching my ear: "Are you laughing now?" I guess it was enough to cause me to get the rest of the album. Whatever. In any case, a month or two back I gave the whole album an attentive listen, and then several more. And although "Moment to Moment" remains my favorite song, I like the rest of the album a lot, too.
I don't know how you'd classify it. It was released in 1989, and has something in common with other good music of the time. AllMusic uses terms like "dreamy" and "passionate": fair enough, but if you know the music released by the 4AD label back then, it may be enough to say that it would have fit in well there (though in fact it was on a small label that did not survive for very long).
The 4AD connection is not just in my mind. I kept thinking that the singer's voice was familiar, and it finally dawned on me that he, Dominic Appleton, is one of a number of guests who contributed to This Mortal Coil's Filigree and Shadow. I used to really love that rich, moody, dramatic album, though I haven't heard it for a while. I'll probably be writing about it here before too long.
The songs are in a way sort of shapeless; fundamentally simple, I think, but they don't really follow a pop song sort of pattern. I found the lyrics only half-intelligible, but happily the band have put them online: see this page for the lyrics to "Moment to Moment." They are even less poppy than the music and have substance. It is not at all obvious from the text how this could be put into a song structure:
If patience works
then this I have
there are just some things
that break my back.
The truth as it is
is walking beside you.
The truth is you do care
the fact is
that I don't think you should
But it works. It really works. If you like this song--and I suggest you give it several hearings if you're undecided after one--you'll like the whole album, or at least most of it.
(Well, maybe this post does have a certain contemporary resonance and application: Are you laughing now?)