"Some songs are so disarmingly beautiful, they bring time to a standstill as you stand slack-jawed in awe at their impossible majesty. ‘The Copper Top’ is certainly gorgeous enough to join this pantheon, though rather than freezing time, it deals instead with its painful, inexorable progress – ageing, decay and death. Rather than just shimmering prettily, ‘The Copper Top’ kicks you in the guts.
Perhaps the track’s potency lies in its simplicity – upon the foundation of Wells’ cyclical, plaintive piano, Moffat’s monologue manages to paint rich tableaux with the most economical of brush strokes. Maybe the track’s sucker punch is its bittersweet humour – Moffat’s quibbling over the colour of his suit (“Looks black to me…”) feels both amusingly throwaway and gravely poignant. But ultimately, the key is probably the track’s universal reach – from the recognisable mundanity of the day-to-day detail, it follows that the fate of the oxidising roof is one to which we’re all condemned. A defining point in the careers of both of its creators, ‘The Copper Top’ delivers everything that truly great art should."
by Dan Cooper-Gavin
Marks out of ten?