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Standards

Standards

24 Jun 2013

£7.49 (VAT included if applicable)

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 21 Jun 2013
  • Label: Tapete
  • Copyright: 2013 Tapete Records
  • Total Length: 41:22
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B00CUFQNX6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,380 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Sid Nuncius #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on 24 Jun 2013
Format: Audio CD
This is a really good album from Lloyd Cole. I'm delighted that he's decided to go back to recording with a band and writing songs in his old style, because this album is genuinely reminiscent of Rattlesnakes and Easy Pieces and of a similar quality to those two near-masterpieces.

The album opens with California Earthquake - a surprising choice (to me anyway) because it's the only non-original song here and which I knew in a 1968 version by Mama Cass Eliot. It's given the Cole treatment, though, and sounds fresh and very like one of his own songs. From there on in it's vintage Lloyd Cole - guitar-driven songs with a beat, singable tunes and very intelligent and quirky lyrics. He's still got that great sideways take on things and in Women's Studies even has slightly different but still excellent swipe at the people with their Government grants and his IQ whom he immortalised in Perfect Skin (one of the very greatest songs of the 80s, in my view.)

The voice is still distinctively Lloyd Cole, although it has developed a slightly mellower tone these days. That is reflected in the tone of the songs, too, which are a little less spiky and more reflective on time past, but they still have plenty of substance and lots of insightful little gems like this in Myrtle and Rose.
"I became the one that sits and watches from afar
You became the woman in the German car..."

The band is great - tight, responsive to the songs and not over-produced. It's a fairly brief album with eleven songs running to a total of about 40 minutes with no padding and not a weak track anywhere. Perfect. It's a huge pleasure to get this album from a man whose work I have loved for 30 years but who hasn't really been on my radar for a long time. This is genuinely excellent, and if you like vintage Lloyd Cole you'll love this. A gem.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Rough Diamond TOP 500 REVIEWER on 2 Sep 2013
Format: Audio CD
Here's an old-fashioned idea: get a brilliant songwriter to record some great new songs with top quality guitar, bass and drums, and then release them as an excellent, well-sequenced 40-minute album that stands on its own two feet as a coherent artistic statement. I know, it's SO last century. But this hasn't stopped Lloyd Cole from having a go, and with 'Standards' he's come up with an absolute treat for all us rockin' mums and dads. This is quite simply as good an album as he's ever made. For those of us who bobbed our floppy fringes along to 'Rattlesnakes' in the Student Union bar, these songs are recognisably cut from the same cloth but, remarkably, the sound has matured and deepened without putting on a single scrap of middle-age spread.

Musically, the 'heavier' numbers here ('Blue Like Mars', 'California Earthquakes') are given some real punch and crunch by Fred Maher's drumming and Matthew Sweet's bass work, while Cole himself provides some decent guitar licks. Meanwhile the more gentle and melancholy numbers are handled with poise and delicacy. 'Myrtle and Rose' is the pick of them for me - a beautifully bittersweet melody, and a lyric as dark as a Nick Cave song. "The longer you were gone, the less the longing" is its two-edged sign-off. It's a great track, but the rest of the album runs it close.

Part of the charm of Lloyd's song-writing is that it remains as self-consciously arch as ever. He still can't help poking fun at his own nerdy intelligence. As an example, the lyrics of 'Womens Studies' reference tea-drinking, bachelors degrees and dissertations, and include a contrived joke that requires knowledge of Kafka and early '80s Scottish post-punk bands to be remotely funny. Rock and ROLL!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Iain Summers on 25 Jun 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Lloyd's best since "Easy Pieces". He wears his influences more proudly now and even includes a cover. For all that this is a fiercely honest collection of songs which while sounding fresh still recalls the wonderful, swirling, tunefulness of his classic releases. Buy it. Buy it today...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Keith M TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 15 July 2014
Format: Audio CD
I’ll admit up front that I have never been an 'ardent’ Lloyd Cole fan – indeed, I have my (obviously influential) other half to thank for any such (current) tendencies on my behalf. Of course, I’d always known (and quite liked) the man’s earlier famous stuff – the likes of Perfect Skin and Jennifer She Says – but with the release of 2013’s Standards I found myself increasingly picking out the CD for the car and humming along to the infectious tunes. Then I duly (under a small degree of duress) went along earlier this year to see the man’s solo show and was impressed not only with what is still a remarkably lush and sonorous voice, plus the high number of catchy songs on show, but also with the man’s (between song) dry wit and self-deprecating sense of irony.

Standards is a particularly fine collection of songs, recorded in Cole’s adopted home of Los Angeles. OK, there is nothing particularly innovative or ground-breaking here – it has the feel of a slightly less edgy, musically toned-down Lou Reed (one of Cole’s great heroes), with a little bit of Nashville thrown in for good measure – but these are, pretty much without exception, carefully crafted songs with consistently catchy melodies and some witty and nicely ironic lyrics. Now in his early fifties, Cole presents us with much (mixed) reflection on life, loves and his past career 'in the business’, lyrically playing on words with many band/music references and allusions, including to the likes of Johnny Thunders, Josef K, Fast Product, Bob Dylan, Blondie, David Bowie, The Jam, Queens Of The Stone Age, etc.

All 11 songs here have (at least) something going for them, including the only non-Cole composition, a remarkable re-interpretation of John Hartford’s California Earthquake.
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