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Losing Sleep [VINYL] Double LP
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It's impossible to judge Edwyn Collins’ first album of new material since the stroke he suffered in 2005 (2007’s Home Again comprised songs written, if not recorded, beforehand) separately from his near-death experience, not least because some of the lyrics address what happened. But it is emphatically not a great album just because of the fact of his survival. Whatever the criteria, Losing Sleep would measure up.
It doesn’t sound like the work of a man who still needs to walk with a stick and can barely cross the road alone. Collins does have support – from Franz Ferdinand, The Drums, Johnny Marr and The Cribs, all of whom owe him and seminal janglers Orange Juice a debt – but it’s more adornment than crutch. These 12 tracks have an irrepressible energy that is all Collins’ own, reflecting his twin loves of punk and northern soul; while his lyrics, always wryly self-regarding, have an urgency and bluntness that would make them seem inconsequential were there not so much at stake.
There’s little prevaricating here. The title-track, and album opener, finds him losing not just sleep but dignity in his damaged state, insecure about his life and work, achieving Brian Wilson-esque levels of naive candour. Over the Hill is a typically Edwyn double-bluff title that evokes his "reckless youth" and contemplates a future when he’ll be older and wiser, having learned nothing from his "world of darkness". I Still Believe in You, with its echoes of Iggy’s Lust for Life, starts with a joke ("When I’m alone, I miss you / Back at my house, I don’t") before movingly encapsulating the two constants in his life: dread, and his wife Grace.
And yet Collins was always more multifaceted than the boyishly fey and ironically forlorn character who created the space for Morrissey to exist. His words are as complex as ever. As he sings over a driving motorik beat on In Your Eyes, "The point I’m trying to make is, I’m changing my mind / The politics of life are obscure". The final two tracks, All My Days and Searching for the Truth, are ballads that present him as a heart-on-sleeve troubadour, but it would be too convenient to conclude that he has found the answer in simple soul-searching. If anything, What Is My Role? is more representative of the 51-year-old Collins as, over a buzzing Magazine-ish riff, he wonders where he fits in the scheme of things. The answer is he doesn’t, which is precisely why he’s still of value.--Paul Lester
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Top Customer Reviews
Most people will no doubt have heard about the tragic events in Edwyn's life, but this only serves to reiterate what a fantastic and joyous achievement has been his recovery (arguably surpassing all his earlier achievements). On Losing Sleep Edwyn co-writes a number of the songs with some of his no-doubt many admirers including Johnny Marr, Ryan Jarman (The Cribs), Alex Kapranos (Franz Ferdinand) and Romeo Stodart (The Magic Numbers), and there is not a duff track here. Personal favourites are In Your Eyes, Humble, Searching For The Truth and the title song.
Should you agree that this is a great album, I recommend checking out some of Edwyn's earlier solo albums (personal favourites are Gorgeous George and I'm Not Following You) or, going back even further, his great work with Orange Juice (none better than The Glasgow School).
'Losing Sleep' is like a breath of fresh air in these bland, mediocre 'X-Factor' musical times. It's hard to single out a particular track, as the exceptionally high standard of the songs is maintained throughout the album, with no filler.
Each song lodges in your brain and the listener is rewarded with repeated listens. Thoughtful, uplifting lyrics and killer hooks.
Although 2010 produced some good albums by the likes of Deerhunter, MGMT, and Weller, this album is definitely the pick of the crop. Essential listening.
Losing Sleep is a great record and is a real grower. You get something every time you listen to it. I love Edwyn's singing voice and the lyrics are funny, clever and poignant. You wont regret buying this album.
Terrific stuff from a talented and brave man.
I would rate 'Losing Sleep' as one of the most accomplished albums of the year. It grows and grows with every listen. The songs are all delicious. Not a dud in there.
I would urge anyone to buy it now. The CD comes with a lovely little booklet with complete lyrics and nice shots of vintage microphones which I think may well be part of Edwyn Collins' personal collection.
This would make a perfect gift if you have a 40 something friend who will really get a kick out of the music and message, or if you are new to Mr Collins, this is a magical place to start.
Thanks Edwyn for such inspiration.
PS. You might also like to read 'Falling and Laughing' which tells the remarkable and inspirational story of Edwyn Collins' fight back from his near fatal illness. Beautifully written by his partner Grace.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Some brilliant new songs here. A good mix of acoustic and electric, i.e. both sides of Edwyn. Buy it now.Published 22 months ago by dl10
Has a kind of punky, homemade feel about it which is kinda endearing, but the quality of the songwriting shines through. Wonderful songs, greatly done. Read morePublished on 3 May 2012 by Tartychops
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These are a wonderful source of good music, as a result of hearing
a track from this cd (do it again)... Read more
Just read about the fact that Edwin had a stroke. Can't beleive it! I lhave loved the album without knowing any of this!Published on 25 Aug. 2011 by Mr. M. S. Scott
Being a fan of The Drums, I was immediately won over after hearing 'In Your Eyes' on 6 Music, wherein Collins takes the band's trademark style in a slightly darker direction,... Read morePublished on 1 May 2011 by bk-reviewer
I have always liked Edwyn's music especially Gorgeous George and I'm not following you and this album is in very close competition with the aforementioned, so its a winner of an... Read morePublished on 21 April 2011 by simmons232
great return of the Orange Juice former leader : the freshness and harmony of the work are remarkable and astonishing. A bunch of songs that remains in your mind and in your soul. Read morePublished on 25 Feb. 2011 by Marconi Luca
This is an extremely well crafted set of cuts; filled to the brim with hooks and earnestness. The set is scheduled for March here in the USA but I couldn't wait and purchased the... Read morePublished on 9 Jan. 2011 by A Customer