I've got a confession to make. I don't like Prefab Sprout. An awful lot of poets do, it seems, but I was never a fan. The only song of theirs that I do always enjoy hearing is Cars and Girls, which is a little odd in that it takes a bit of a pop at the (perceived) worldview of Bruce Springsteen, of whom I am a big fan. But still, I like it. Good tune, and good lyrics, which actually end by conceding that there's room for Springsteen's seemingly hopelessly romantic view of things too.
But this article, which I came across last week, makes some excellent points about Bruce's 'cars and girls' songs. Perhaps, in his first three albums, they were at times simplistic, but certainly from Darkness At The Edge Of Town onwards, they're anything but. Far from conferring freedom on the protagonist of the song, they often end up trapping them ever more hopelessly in their circumstances.
Anyway, it's got me listening to Springsteen's albums from the beginning again, and that's never a bad thing.