After almost a quarter century with U.K. new-wave veteran act Squeeze, Glenn Tilbrook has gotten around to recording his debut solo album. "Basically Squeeze disintegrated around me two years ago," he

After almost a quarter century with U.K. new-wave veteran act Squeeze, Glenn Tilbrook has gotten around to recording his debut solo album. "Basically Squeeze disintegrated around me two years ago," he tells Billboard. "I was very comfortable with the group being me and [longtime writing partner] Chris Difford, but he felt the group wasn't really going anywhere. I realized he was right."

The wittily titled "The Incomplete Glenn Tilbrook" is being released May 21 in the U.K. on the singer/songwriter's own Quixotic Records. It doesn't include any contribution from Difford, who always wrote the words to Tilbrook's music on such Squeeze hits as "Cool for Cats." "I think Chris and I will continue writing together, because that's where we click. But I felt on the first solo record, I needed to establish my own voice," Tilbrook says.

He continues, "Being the age I am and not having had any recent commercial success makes it difficult to claw your way back into the mainstream. But we're giving the solo record our best shot, and the album has been well-received so far."

Difford and Tilbrook -- who released one album together outside of Squeeze, 1984's A&M set "Difford & Tilbrook" -- guested on former Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler's latest album, "Sailing to Philadelphia" (Warner Bros.). In 1999, Difford backed away from Squeeze after the release of "Domino" (Valley), and did not tour the U.K. and U.S. with a Tilbrook-led version of the group. Difford has reportedly been writing songs with several other artists in recent years, including former Wet Wet Wet singer Marti Pellow, and did some production work for Dublin singer/songwriter Pat Traecy.

The official Squeeze Web site squeezefan.com has officially ceased updating, although it remains as an online archive of the band's past. To support his ongoing work, Tilbrook has staked out his own place in cyberspace. He is on tour in the U.K. through a May 24 gig at London's Mean Fiddler.