Maturity is the age of serenity, and depending on how you look at it, of conformism. The age of clinging to an already-known formula and turning around it in a forever circular motion. No ups or downs. Musically, such maturity may be a symptom of lesser and tremendously boring albums – mature yawns for premature jubilees.
There are artists, however, who dignify maturity and turn it into something even desirable. And Lloyd Cole, with an ever-greying hair and a permanently scarred heart, is one of such artists. Especially since his solo career has proved once more his ability to modulate mood swings, from the dark “Music in a Foreign Language” (2003) to the nocturne and urban “Antidepressant” (2006), and from there to this splendid “Broken Record”.
Soaking even more on both american influence and the soft breeze of folk, the scotsman (sic) goes back to the band format – he is joined, amongst others, by Mark Schwaber and Matt Cullen, ex-Commotion Blair Cowan and drummer Fred Maher – and, between mandolins and banjos, he signs-off again on an impeccable collection of songs in which mellow country-pop (“Like a Broken Record”), plethoric pop (“That’s Alright”, “Oh Genevieve” and “Writers Retreat”) and those folkier moments – some of which are also the most beautiful – are no more than excuses to pull one more ace up his sleeve, another classic album in the best possible sense of the term. A classic, that’s what it is.
Publication date: 01/10/10