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Customer Review

29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best records ever made, 4 Jan. 2004
This review is from: Rattlesnakes (Audio CD)
It's good to see that the other reviews give this album 5 stars. If you know this album and you can appreciate talent then you will know that anything less would be absurd. Some of the comments of the other reviews worry me a little though. For example, comments such as "This is an album that probably is Lloyd's definitive piece" and "Certainly ranks...alongside Cole's first solo album..." Surprised to say the least. I like Lloyd Cole's work and I wouldn't want to hurt his feelings but without doubt this was his definitive moment. THIS IS IT. As happens when we fall in love with an album by an artist we always hope for more. So we buy the next release the day it comes out. We get it home, put it on and despite temporarily denying it to ourselves we soon realise that it's not quite what we had hoped for. But no matter, maybe the next one. So we buy that one, and the next and so on until we can finally admit to ourselves that 'Revolver' isn't coming. Apart from the odd miracle workers who follow an upward path (Beatles, Radiohead, others) we never quite get what we're looking for. And that's how the artist must feel too. Because they all realise how transient artistic genius is. It's all to do with space and time and your place in it. And true works of art come from the mix like Frankenteins, uncontrolled and daunting. That's why so many bands who hit the heights at the first attempt get stifled by their own creation and fade with the genius in them (take the Roses, Embrace, Suede, etc). You may argue that other bands work up to their best. I would say there is still only one peak in every mountain range.
So back to Rattlesnakes. The record on which Lloyd Cole's genius shone brightest. I can't express how much I like this album lyrically. All I can say is the the songs make you say "I wish I could write like that" in the same way that Dylan does. The subject matter is mostly from the viewpoint of someone innocent and trying to deal with all of the stuff you're not prepared for when you first leave home. For example, the opening lines to the album "I choose my friends only far too well/I'm up on the pavement and they're all down in the sell with they're govenment grants/And my IQ they brought me down to size...Academical blues" tell of someone having difficulty with the fact he's not the only bright kid in town. There's some irony in that notion becuase listening to this album can often make you feel the same way. Many other lines like "Oh must you tell me all your secrets when it's hard enough to love you knowing nothing" capture the essence of feelings that we mortals struggle to express but are sure to have been shared by most reading this. And Cole still finds room for plenty of cynicism too in lines such as "I belive in love/I'll belive in anything/If it's gonna get me what I want" if that's what you like.
Musically, this album is beautifully arranged and has a low-key production that gives a slight 60s hint and a lot of honesty. The melodies are fantastic and have excelled in that illusive trick of augmenting the emotions of the lyrics. When lyrics and melody combine like this you get 'Blood on the Tracks'.
I highly recommend, in fact I emplore you to buy this album if you don't already own it. It's stood the test of time with me (16 yrs). Some of my other favourite albums are Abbey Road (Beatles), What's Going On (Marvin Gaye), The Stone Roses (The Stone Roses), The Good Will Out (Embrace), OX4 The best of... (Ride) to give you an indication of my tastes in case that gives you more of an idea on whether or not to take my advice.
I hope I haven't offended anyone with my original observations. I understand that everyone's perspective is different. Lastly, I would like to say well done to Lloyd Cole and his Commotions for giving us this masterpiece.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 20 Jun 2010 00:55:17 BDT
Another great review - Lloyd obviously has bright fans!

Posted on 9 Mar 2012 09:27:00 GMT
J. J. Pearse says:
Great, insightful review. But Embrace....genius?!!
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