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on 14 September 2017
Lloyd Cole does country? Wasn't sure when I read reviews but he does it so well. Intelligent lyrics , great guitar sound and some lovely tunes. Even the wife likes it. Apart from Johny Cash and occasional bit of Dolly, I really find country music unbearable too. Lloyd has still got class and this is an easy pleasing listen.
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on 1 September 2012
I bought this CD after a Lloyd Cole gig - my first - in his home-town of Buxton late in 2011.

In time-honoured Lloyd style it's a real grower - you start listening to it, skipping the occasional "less favourite" track to get to the more "immediate" ones, then you progressively start skipping less, until you recognise the merit in every track... it's one of those CDs that rewards repeated listenings. The quality of songwriting here is high, the arrangements and playing are a delight, and there are some cracking, singalong tunes, among the introspective numbers!

Back to that night in Buxton: the thing that struck me about LC on-stage was just how self-deprecating and modest he was; he was also engaging, with a great sense of humour. The best part of the evening was meeting him after the gig - a likeable, down-to-earth, unpretentious guy. It's funny how I'd always assumed he was "too cool for school" - the edgy, uber-cool CD covers & moody photography through the years were clearly the work of the image-building stylists & marketeers.

Looking forward to the next release!
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on 25 October 2010
For those who remember Lloyd Cole and the Commotions in the 80s, the 2010 model is a rather different beast. His posture and attitude from his heyday has been replaced with a relaxed gentle self-deprecation. And he's discovered folky country rock.

It suits him reasonably well, opening track Like A Broken Record is a gentle charmer, all steel guitar and self-deprecation ("I'm beginning to sound like a broken record, not that I had that much dignity left anyway"). The uptempo tracks aren't bad either. Writers Retreat bops along nicely on a bed of harmonicas, slightly reminiscent of Whiskeytown, then the pace is taken down a notch or two on The Flipside, which sounds like any of the slower tracks form Lloyd's 90s solo albums.

Why In The World could be something off Springsteen's Tunnel of Love with its regretful tone ("maybe I'm not built for these times") over a soaring keyboard-led melody. Westchester County Jail repeats the trick of Writers Retreat with added steel guitar. A bit of pace in the songs suits him quite well, That's Alright has a nice REM-style midtempo groove to it while Oh Genevieve (classic Lloyd Cole title) is another song to add to his long list of odes to various girls.
Later, Rhinestones is a sprightly, banjo-led stomp, before closing track Double Happiness keeps up the pace, stretching out a little musically on the guitar before the end. All in all, Lloyd's "edge" is definitalmost completely absent here, but it's a pleasant enough collection of tunes, very enjoyable for fans of Lloyd Cole.
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on 23 August 2010
Lloyd Cole always seemed older than his years back in the day - now finally his age has caught up with his world weary songs and singing. Grey-haired, lived-in face, the look of an extra in a Cohen Brothers noir he looks the part of the self-effacing country singer.

This is a strong collection of songs. I actually think it's his best solo album to date. A nice country swagger to a lot of the songs - wry lyrics. A hint of Al Stewart I thought! A dash of Tom Petty.

The album is pretty consistent and worth buying as a whole, but some particular stand out tracks: Writers Retreat, Rhinestones, Like a Broken Record, Why in the World, Double Happiness.
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VINE VOICEon 17 September 2010
The difference between this and the last few Lloyd Cole albums is the full instrumentation on every track, which lends the record an alternative folk-rock feel. The record is pleasant, almost upbeat, and feels well-crafted and easy to listen to. That's not to say that the previous few albums weren't good, but this one doesn't have the late-night confessional air that occasionally weighed them down, and made this listener (at least) wish sometimes for something a little more "upbeat".

That's not to say this record is full of the joys of spring: there's plenty of the "melancholy feeling" that Lloyd is justly celebrated for, and plenty of the wry, sardonic and funny lyrics that he does so well, too. With the writing crafted into a set of eleven songs of consistently good quality, it's probably a good place for fans of his 1980s to hop back on board.
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on 8 April 2013
Simply.....the music resonates.....maybe it is my age......maybe it is a great great record......broken .....i don't think so. Buy it
how often do you follow someone....your ears prick up and the familiar tone of the voice and the melody but are left disappointed by a lack of thought/ care or simply creativity, often lost in youth.

Not here. This is a quality record. If you listen and listen again and again. It grows and grows. For me it was immediate ....but hell i know a Lloyd Cole record and for me there has been lean times. this is GREAT.

thanks Lloyd
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on 16 November 2011
Can't say I know every LC album, but am definitely a fan. Started listening again a couple of years ago. LC can be a bit too minimalist at times, but I am really enjoying this one. The usual clever, insightful words combined with some ear-catching arrangements and good musicianship. I used to hope "Not just love songs please, LC" to paraphrase the title of one of his songs and I suppose I have not given up hoping. For the time being, nice to be able to chuckle as you listen to those well-penned lines.
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on 15 August 2013
This is a collection of songs which, as other reviewers have commented, reflect a more mature and reflective Lloyd Cole. It takes a few plays to 'grow on' you, but gets better with every listen. I have no particular favourite track, am just happy to hear his distinctive voice again.
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on 21 September 2010
Lloyd Cole's new album has a different sound, with an occasionally country feel. Beautiful guitar melodies puntuated by mandolin and banjo sit alongside some rockier tracks. Sublime backing vocals from Joan Wasser that work so well with Lloyd's mature, velvet vocals. My favourites so far are Oh Genevieve, Writers Retreat and the Flipside. If you find you enjoy this, but (heaven forbid) are new to Lloyd Cole, I recommend his Negatives album, Love Story and the more recent Antidepressent, not quite for more of the same, but for more clever, wryly funny, grown-up songs.
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on 12 September 2010
This is a great album, thoughtfully presented and packaged and is filled with simply, good songs. For me it is a return to form for Lloyd who was alway able to deliver a memorable hook and a clever lyric but in his solo career the albums had become more introspective. This new album still has all of that but is efficient in its delivery. There are no weak songs and the likes of Writer's Retreat, That's Alright and O Geniveve immediately have an instant hook whilst the likes of The Flipside, Why in the World and Rhinestones gradually reveal themselves as beautifully crafted songs. Overlaying the album are a range of instruments Banjo, Madolin and Peddle Steel add sublety and augment the arrangements without turning this into an overtly americana offering but rather 'tips a hat' to Lloyd's influences. all in all a great addition to his impressive catalogue of work.
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