Top positive review
16 people found this helpful
on 24 June 2013
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.