Some voices in pop music ooze character. They become familiar, reassuring, and are missed when not around. Lloyd Cole has one such voice, and it’s back.
After the demise of The Commotions, our man packed his voice, moved to New York and proceeded, aiong with Commotions keyboardist Blair Cowan, Scritti Poiitti drummer Fred Maher and guitar wizard Robert Quine (ex-Lou Reed band member) to craft new material for a solo album. The only radical change of style apparent on this LP is the length of Lloyd’s barnet on the cover. The distinctive blend of blues, rock and country remains, this time possessing a live and loose feel. Of the 13 songs on the album, those with harder edges work best. The bluesy riffs of ‘What Do You Know About Love’, the gambolling bass and haunting harmonica of ‘Downtown’ (featured in the forthcoming Rob Lowe film ‘Bad Influences’) and the hard, Stones-ish rock of ‘I Hate To See You Baby Doing That Stuff’ smack of leathers and punky sneers. The single ‘No Blue Skies’ and the ballad ‘Loveless’ are the pick of the lighter moments on the album which, though not disappointing, offers no surprises or classics. ***1/2
Publication: RECORD MIRROR
Publication date: 17/02/90