Graham Reid | | 1 min read
Scotland's Orange Juice fronted by
singer-songwriter Edwyn Collins only had one persuasive album (You
Can't Hide Your Love Forever in '82) and one UK hit (Rip It Up
from the album of the same name, also in '82) but their arch, often
ironic and non-threatening pop has recently occasioned a 6CD/DVD collection, a
reflection of the high regard in which they were held.
Since they split in '85, Collins has
made interesting albums but in '05 suffered a cerebral hemorrhage
which left him literally speechless, and this is his first new album
since – which explains songs which ask “what is my role?”, say
“I can do it again”, and announce “it's good to be here”.
With sterling assistance from members
of Magic Numbers, Franz Ferdinand and the Drums as well as Johnny
Marr, Roddy Frame and others, Collins sounds well into a
recovery-comeback with this crisp pop-rock. His former coy and ironic
position is now replaced by an unvarnished honesty: “I'm losing
dignity, I'm insecure” and “I must admit I'm changing and now I
know the simple things make my world go round”.
There's sharp pop-rock here where
Collins' dark voice sounds assured (the dramatic, emotional I
Still Believe in You) and some Scottish faux-soul (Over the
Hill), but the two closing ballads – about fear, acceptance and
belief – are heartbreakingly beautiful in their eloquent