In one of the pieces that Lloyd Cole sang on his last tour in Germany, says: “But of course I’m more than just a song.” Amazing that he of all felt the need to notify its listeners. In extremely uncool English teacher clothes Cole was on stage, his hair graying, his face looked, and sceptical about the round. At the end of the concerts he apologized for his “grumpyness. That would not have been necessary had his bad mood by then but thought to be a particularly subtle form of British humor, particularly since this type is perfect for Coles songs about failed marriages, mass murderers, men in midlife crisis and, most revealing, the futility of love songs. The fact that he maintains his dress lump-in-neck texts in elegant melodies, makes things more exciting and Cole become one of the largest in its class.
The futility of love songs: It always has like Cole’s own profession, making music, writing in his stylishly depressive songs incorporated. Such as when he obtuse “Tried to Rock” at the inadequacy of the cynical Europeans to run around distaff sang when in “My Bag” a zugekokster musician assured the barman, he was suffering actually for his art, and if in “Unhappy Song” by leaving his Ex afterwards sang: “When it comes to September I got my own unhappy song.
And now, to “Broken Record”, his first with the band produced record for ten years, he sings this at least three-plate track “If I Were a Song”. The first has placed inconspicuously dahinperlende song that Cole in the middle of the album, the finesse, bringing a completely own melancholy and abysmal Coles on the point perfectly: “What if I was just a song / Could interval to really be more than? the space between us? / Would you still dance when I play? ”
Story telling and role-players
One thing you should know before you approach Lloyd Cole: The man is a storyteller, a role-player or, as he himself said once: a method actor who goes into a song long in his characters. Cole knows how tempting it is to confuse the types in his songs with their Creator, and will not tire of stressing that it not be said, if there was a first person singular appears in the text, which suggests the question of who then the lyrical I in “If I Were A Song” is? The real power is that pieces like this are so much more than just smart structures; they touch, because beyond all the clichés of confessional poetry always feels the sentiment and the emphasis of the author.
In the very first line to “Broken Record” is the storyteller and role players at work: “Not that I had that much dignity left anyway,” he sings to a chugging banjo and told – musically exactly halfway between Dylan and Jimmy Webb – of another failed relationship. In “Writer’s Retreat” he reflects once again the perils of human relationships in the creative process and white: “You can get a beat from a broken heart / You can write a book while falling apart”.
Unrivalled range of moods
There are uptempo songs like this or the fascinating and seemingly simple “Oh Genevieve,” in which the Lloyd shines through Cole-eighties, that young bookworm with the hair comparison with which all the girls who Morrissey was too aloof, necessarily in this next Truffaut retrospective wanted to go and its uncertainties and skipped acts on Top Of The Pops’ appearances were thought to be neurotic cool poses. Fortunately, however, Cole is not foolish young at heart: The father knows how any decent songwriter, to the embarrassment pseudo-juvenile posturing and has already begun in the nineties, making the aging of the subject of his plays, most recently on his album ‘Antidepressant’ in the wonderful “Women in a Bar.” But as good this record was at that time: On the variety of moods of “Broken Record” it does not come up.
That there is something lasts until all the songs have been digging into the heart, that the favorite pieces to change constantly, that after weeks of hearing favored suddenly initially ordinary pieces like “rhinestones” or “That’s Alright” that even the first little shanty by way of acting “Man Overboard “at some point as elegant composition shines – all that makes this record for the warmest, but above all: to the smartest songwriter album of the year.
Lloyd Cole comes this fall with a band again toured Germany. He is sceptical look back into round, he will probably apologise again for his bad temper. In any case, it will be great pleasure from listening to his now quite expansive work. And you will ask again, because what it really has the lyric “I” in his songs to himself.
Lloyd Cole, Broken Record. Tapete Records 7159556
Publication: Frankfurter Allgemeine
Publication date: 24/09/10