This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):
The Stranglers were one of those bands that slipped through the cracks. They were too arty to be punks, too punky for a rock band, too ugly to be pinups and too surly to be pop stars.
Since embarking on a solo career, singer-guitarist Hugh Cornwell has consistently demonstrated he’s also too old to change — or to give a good goddamn about it. So Hi Fi, like his previous albums, is basically a latter-day Stranglers album — the same darkly melodic ballads, the same literate lyrics, the same chiming guitars, the same hypnotic minimalist arrangements, the same post-punk sneer. The big difference is Hugh doesn’t have to split the money as many ways. Speaking of money, here’s a bonus worth every penny: Live acoustic versions of the classics Golden Brown and Always the Sun. If you were ever a Stranglers fan, don’t let these suckers slip through the cracks.