Newest thing to make me feel old: it’s been 20 years since the release of Lloyd Cole and the Commotions’ pop-rock masterpiece, Rattlesnakes. Cole’s blend of melancholy and acerbic wit and his desert breeze of a voice have aged with impeccable grace, I’m pleased to say. His latest shows him in fine, if alternately sad and cranky, fettle. The largely acoustic settings are ideal for world-weary gems like the title track, the anti-L.A. lament “Late Night, Early Town” and the lovely “No More Love Songs.” More Cole material is promised soon, including a “lost album” that has already reached mythic dimensions among his fans.

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Publication date: 05/03/04