Some people don’t need to have big charting hits to know that they are loved by their core audience, what they release will always seem to be taken to the crowd’s heart and much played, that though doesn’t pay the bills in a world that has become increasingly, despairing and depressingly about how you are defined is by what you are worth in monetary value to others and not for the enjoyment or sense of love you may install in others.

One such artist who always seems to be ignored shamefully apart from by die-hards is Lloyd Cole and yet he still writes with a calm authority and performs like a dream and his latest album Standards is no exception to his wistful melancholy and heart-felt lyric writing and honest approach to music.

Standards makes the listener hang on his every word, each syllable that spills forth feel as though they are being sung for the one taking an interest in the recording alone, just them and no one else. It is a set of songs that crash through the defences of both artist and fan, catching them both unawares and unapologetic for the feelings that are bought to the surface. There are many musicians and song writers that can easily turn their hands to poetry, the feeling of emotion that comes out as a frenzy of anger or the joyful look at innocence but few can do it as well as Lloyd Cole. On tracks such the excellent Kids Today, Women’s Studies, the smile inducing Opposites Day and the Bob Dylan sounding Diminished Ex, the music sounds just as great as it did thirty years ago but the images that are paraded through the listeners mind are worth so much more to the overall magnetism of the album.

It may be a long time since Lloyd Cole tasted commercial success in the U.K. as a solo performer but he still knows how to compose some incredibly good stuff and the music that is on Standards is a testament to experience, a great example of knowing how to give pleasure to so many.

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Publication: Liverpool Sound and Vision

Publication date: 26/06/13