Lloyd Cole’s smoldering, melancholic voice is as beautiful as it was two decades ago, when the Englishman led the Commotions to acclaim in his 20s. His most recent solo CD, “Music in a Foreign Language,” is his first U.S. release in five years. (“Etc.” and an ambient album, “Plastic Wood,” have also recently been released in the States.) Gone are the catchy, carefree songs referencing Norman Mailer and Eva Marie Saint; this is a mature and moving work whose spareness is laced with sadness but never self-pity. “No more love songs, not for me,” Cole laments in one bittersweet ballad. One hopes this gifted yet overlooked musician has plenty more such songs in store.

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Publication: San Francisco Chronical

Publication date: 15/05/04