Vinyl LP £18.49 TR261LP
180g vinyl LP + CD on Tapete.
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CD £7.99 TR261
CD and exclusive lyric book on Tapete.
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A strange thing I’ve found out recently is that people of a younger generation to me have no idea who Lloyd Cole is. Everyone has heard of The Smiths and many The Go-Betweens and Echo and The Bunnymen but of all the 80’s bookish literary sorts, Lloyd Cole seems to only be known by people of a certain vintage. Its possibly because he has stayed under the radar since the dissolution of the Commotions yet the value of those records can’t be underestimated. Large swathes of them were spot on superb, a bespectacled mid point between The Smiths and Bob Dylan.
This is the point in Cole’s career where he decides upon a return to the sound that made him famous for awhile. Over the years he’s generally faffed with low key acoustic fare and even a surprising foray into electronic music with lasts years Hans Joachim Roedelius collaboration. This record has the feel of the later Go-Betweens records, competent without quite reaching the dizzying heights of earlier work. Cole still has a turn of phrase to rival much more lauded lyricists. ‘Women’s Studies’ marries a standard guitar melody to lyrics which are almost a parody of Cole’s earlier work, references to education, books and even Jozef K while ‘Period Piece’ has a nice jangly Byrdsian melody.
After an upbeat start the album soon settles into a run of slower tracks that don’t reveal all that much on first listen, ‘Blue Like Mars’, however sounds pretty much like it was taken from his glory moment ‘Rattlesnakes’ with a lovely melody which erupts into a jangly chorus which, like certain tracks on Johnny Marr’s album will make plenty of 40 somethings swoon. A track like this shows that Cole still has his melodic instincts intact. With more sparkling and inventive production this could have been a real late career highlight, instead we are left with a solid album that will appeal to his fans but probably not win him too many new ones. Still, I quite enjoyed it. Initial copies come with bonus lyrics booklet.
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