Open Book is absolutely beautiful and would've slotted perfectly into the tracklisting, but I wouldn't switch anything out for it, but it definitely deserved a place. It's just so comforting and life-affirming while having this ethreal quality, and the vocal performances on it are brilliant. Light Up and Romantic Call are both absolute bangers that with a few touch ups could be brilliant but don't quite fit the rest of the album. Three More Days would've been a cute bonus track, too. Quite the uplifting bop.
The only glaring absence from the album, if you're familiar with the whole range of their output, is “Too In Love”. In addition to being just gorgeous, it's a lyrical highpoint of all of the MKS sessions – Ain't nothing in this world that stops you growing old; And if I shake and shatter/I hope that I won't break; and How many people fold, people can be so cold in particular are really poignant. They lay out an idea of love that is all too aware of the prickly world outside that presses on it, and is all the more special for it. It would’ve made such a lovely companion to “Love Me Hard” (and “I Lay Down” too) as a sophisticated, deeply considered song on being in love.
It speaks to their spectacular quality control that the album stands so strongly even with so many great tracks excluded. I have soft spots for “Love In Stereo” and “Paradise” which could’ve filled the basic bop quota taken up by “Summer of ‘99” and “Only You”. “Light Up” is also a wonderful slice of mid-tempo perfection. But these are very minor notes, really. We were fed.
I agree with the general point, though, about "Too In Love." It's missed from the set. The opening lyric is the standout ("Not everything has altered/It's shades of grey"). Siobhan's lyrics have become more pared down as she has matured and they're all the more powerful for it. "I'm smiling around broken glass" ("I'm Alright") is another highlight.
I stopped checking for the leaks at one point because it felt like there was too much to keep up with. So before the Deluxe I'd not heard Back to Life, Breathe Me and Only You. I really love them though. I'd say that Only You is my favourite of them, but I think they're all great.
I get the criticisms of Back to Life and Breathe Me, but I enjoy an over the top ballad, so I'm here for it. But after hearing Only You I really wonder where it's been all my life. It really wouldn't have been out of place on the main album.
Also @Blayke after your listening party I now cannot unhear that misheard lyric in I Lay Down haha