Lloyd Cole: Broken Record (Tapete/Yellow Eye)

 |   |  1 min read

Lloyd Cole: Oh Genevieve
Lloyd Cole: Broken Record (Tapete/Yellow Eye)

Lloyd Cole may not command that massive audience he once did, but his modest tours always pull the loyalists -- and his songwriting skills haven't deserted him, even though his great chart-worrying album Rattlesnakes with the Commotions was closer to 30 years ago than 20.

This new album, recorded in New York and spare in its arrangements for acoustic guitar and little more, puts those literary lyrics to the fore again and as always Cole can pull out a folk-framed melodic line which sounds vaguely familiar, vocally effortless and memorable.

Still sounding the thoughtful, melancholy soul, Cole here opens with the line "not that I had much dignity left anyway" (Like a Broken Record) which takes you immediately into this place where he asks when he "ceased to see the light/maybe I'm not built for these times" (Why in the World?), wonders "what if I was just a song, would you still cry when I played?") (If I Were A Song) and in Double Happiness speculates on the converse, "double despair".

But these lyrics are also more wry and dry than they appear on the page, and there is Inverse Midas Touch ("she's got bad luck, if I didn't love her I'd stay out of her way") which includes funny lines like these: "She gets to the airport as the hurricane hits . . . King Kong's headed for the Empire State and she's on the observation deck, waiting for a date like me".

He takes a slightly nasty, Dylanesque swipe at a lover who blames her problems on the city and has some mad romantic notion about country living, her whole personality is pulling him down and he can't escape -- but "anytime I get me far enough I come tumbling down again, I'm just your lonely satellite, Momma that's alright".

There is bright pop here too, notably the sprightly Genevieve which bounces along like a pretty girl in a flouncy skirt running down a Parisian boulevard.

Cole is an easy one to go past these days. His albums don't command the profile they once did, but his craftsmanship here -- applied to what amounts mostly to break-up songs -- comes with assistance from Joan As Police Woman and a small, sympathetic band (including Blair Cowan of the Commotions).

Witty, literary folk-pop with the occasional country touch. Well worth investigating, especially if he hasn't crossed your path in a while.

LLoyd Cole has answered the Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire here.

Like Lloyd? Then check this band out.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Angel Olsen: My Woman (Jagjaguwar)

Angel Olsen: My Woman (Jagjaguwar)

When Elsewhere discovered this woman's previous album, her second, Burn Your Fire For No Witness in early 2014 we were mightily impressed by her ability to roam across genres from... > Read more

Gin: Extended Play (Island/Universal)

Gin: Extended Play (Island/Universal)

The other night we were flicking across the music channels and did that rare thing, paused for more than five seconds because there was a remarkable voice about which I said, "Wow, I'd like to... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Elvis Presley: Do the Vega (1968)

Elvis Presley: Do the Vega (1968)

Elvis Presley's catalogue of songs in the Sixties is pretty scattershot. Sessions would often be very productive (the material was hardly demanding) and so the songs would be drip-fed over a period... > Read more

TAR, a film by 12 DIRECTORS

TAR, a film by 12 DIRECTORS

A visual ode to memory, love, loss of innocence and the spectre of impending death because of the events at Three Mile Island, this film is an elusive construction drawing on the poems of the... > Read more