Customer Review

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars she's got cheekbones like geometry and eyes like sin.., 9 Feb. 2006
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This review is from: Rattlesnakes [20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition] (Audio CD)
It is hard to believe that the original album was originally released over 20 years ago in 1984. Originally labeled part of the so called `college rock' scene (and later cruelly labeled as glum rock) this album goes way beyond being included in any such `movement' and stands high as one the finest albums of the 80's by any artist and one of my favourite all time albums. The production has not dated, probably as a result of the combination of a clean sound and the intelligently composed songs laced with smart, ironic lyrics, formed around folk-rock-melody patterns, a style which remains eternally popular. This classic album kicks off with the impossibly wordy track `perfect skin' (a trick repeated on a later commotions album `mainstream' and the opening track `my bag') which really sets the tone for the whole album with Intelligent lyrics, quality musicianship and painted pictures full of observations of young university life and loves, and conflicting social circumstances that occur among the overeducated and underemployed.

Cole's key skill, which he also carries over with varying success into his solo career, is to be smart and accurate with observation and commentary, but also retain a certain degree of self mocking wit and humour about proceedings, which prevents Lloyd Cole coming across as self indulgent or pretentious. This album and its songs are literally littered with statements, questions and self answered queries, many of which have more than one angle to approach them from, for example how many songwriters dare to pair up the words sin and cosmopolitan in a verse?

Very rarely, there isn't really a weak track on the original album, but highlights for me are: Perfect Skin, Rattlesnakes, Forest Fire, 2CV, Patience and a real gem hidden at the back are you ready to heartbroken?

The bonus CD is must for the fan containing a worthwhile mix of demos and rarities that are not available elsewhere, but the part i really enjoyed was the detailed bonus sleeve notes where they describe the process, thoughts and ideas behind the songs and how their musician skills evolved during the recording of the album. Being a musician myself i loved the bit where they described how they created the guitar solo in forest fire by marking the floor in front of the amp with tape and hand written notes to acheive the different notes during the solo through feedback.

Like many of my favourite albums of all time (and the original release being one of them) it is the subtlety that appeals here with the outstanding lyrical content and musicianship that does the talking. Along with `Mainstream' and Lloyd Cole solo album `Lovestory, Rattlesnakes represents Lloyd Cole at his very best. If you enjoy artists such as Prefab sprout, Aztec Camera or The Bible you will enjoy this. This album is full of lyrical and musical interplay that more recent bands or artists such as Coldplay or KT Tunstall can only dream of.

Enjoy.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 20 May 2011 12:19:07 BDT
I've been looking for more quality christian rock so as a fan of the bible I'll give this a try. Thanks for the recommendation ;)

Posted on 1 Jul 2015 14:40:42 BDT
Nice crib from the review on allmusic.com.
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