In the 80s it was almost impossible to avoid Lloyd Cole and his commotions. The respectable shots seemed to be everywhere and be everybody’s new favorite. He was a pop-aestheticians who took both critics and the charts by storm.
When the commotions dissolved dried, however, the stream of hits out. He managed to squeeze a few drops of the nectar of success with “She’s A Girl And I’m A Man” from the masterpiece “Do not Get Weird On Me, Babe” 1991st Maybe it was pure luck, or they lived “Perfect Skin” is still so strong in the disk buyers memory, that Lloyd Cole has not yet had time to become a has-been. That he could still be someone to reckon with.
I do not know if people simply got tired of Cole’s clever vocal forge, or if, in the general public’s ears, was too smart for his own good. Or so he killed his own career with the more or less home made “Bad Vibes” a few years later, an album that was like the antithesis of the lush arrangements and the finely calibrated production of “Do not Get Weird On Me, Babe”.
Anyway, if you ask the average listener – how it stands now – Lloyd Cole is truly “Perfect Skin” and perhaps “Forest Fire” or “Brand New Girlfriend ‘to get to the answers. But Cole’s career from the 90s onwards is punctuated by a number of solid examples of bitter-sweet singer / songwriter pop. He is still a respectable Scotchman, but now further out in record companies’ commercial periphery, where first of all the converted looking.
It is a pity that he marginalized to a “cult artist” and a quickly done work for the critics of Lloyd Cole is a narrator of the classic type, someone who can mix fiction and autobiography, with the sensitive director or a good writer’s accuracy. As much as I have a passion for the singer / songwriter myself confessions and defends his right to them, it is sometimes very liberating to listen to someone who is Lloyd Cole, that turns its sights away from the navel and to the world without compromising on the personal anchorage.
There are no bad Lloyd Cole CDs. While there are a couple of paragraphs that appear to be more half thought thoughts (for example, already mentioned “Bad Vibes”), but all his CDs are still a kind of inner logic, both individually and in a more comprehensive disco graphic perspective. Like many other life’s work of high rank – Leonard Cohen, Roy Harper, Neil Young – Cole’s production is an ongoing story divided into chapters sounding.
Seen from this perspective is “Broken Record” as relevant as any other Lloyd Cole-disc whatsoever. Considered as a single work, it is a solid plate, perhaps no milestone but consistently implemented by Coles all characteristics at hand: the elegant, even meticulous, songwriting with all its clever references to pop and rock history, the little petulant song which now implies both Cohen and Dylan (and in a way I can not really explain, George Harrison!), and the arrangements subtle framing.
Just this once claimed to Lloyd Cole like to rock out, but it is a claim that must be placed in its proper context. Cole is hardly rock-loss type, and after all, he probably had time to become a little too grizzled to be able to change that. But do you measure “Broken Record” with Cole’s own measure, is the right one groovy little story. But on a more countryvis than a rock way. Banjo, mandolin and pedal steel gives the disc a solid and rustic grounds. Everything is as it should be with Lloyd Cole-flat, very tasteful.
No, it’s not Lloyd Cole’s best record – “Do not Get Weird On Me, Babe” is still a severe intake thoroughly ahead – but it is a welcoming album that has taste, wit and finesse. Three old properties that are worth caring for, encourage and, not least, reward yourself with
Publication: Tidningen Kulturen
Publication date: 11/11/10