In his time, Cole has experimented with everything from knowlingly frivolous pop to Noo Yoik rock-out and even found time to dabble with a symphony orchestra, all usually with great success. However, many of his fans believe it’s when he eases himself into reflective rock-pop-guitarballad mode that he is at his best. In which case this is Cole on top form: lots of gentle, strumming melodics, and some honest and intimate lyrics.

It’s not that Lloyd Cole has taken an easy route here, though. Along with his eternal wrestling match with the tricksiest wordsmithery he can manage (‘Lying here between your progeny and your Visa card statements’, for starters), he onceagain peels back emotions so well you wonder if you’re peering into real life oran imagined parallel he has crafted over several albums. It makes the Glen Campbell-esque numbers very far from easy listening. And top marks to Lloyd for covering recent-era Nick Cave on ‘People Ain’t No Good’.

Sure, it lacks Cave’s manly vocal drama, but where the original Bad Seed bringsworld-wearied regret to his own song, Lloyd Cole’s slightly more chipper version expresses something you might hear in the voice of a younger character, let downfor the very first time. Either way, the sorrow remains poignant and beautiful.

Publication: Time Out

Publication date: 11/06/03