Even Lloyd Cole didn’t need to fill a song this simple with too many words. Probably because he didn’t have enough words
People’s recollections of Lloyd Cole tend to be that he was a bit clever: he and his Commotions formed at Glasgow University while Cole was studying philosophy; references to Simone de Beauvoir, Norman Mailer and Eva Marie Saint were scattered throughout the songs; and then there was the verbosity. My Bag, for example, almost collapses under its own word play: “Spin spin whisky and gin I suffer for my art/ Bartender I got wild mushrooms growing in my yard/ Fix me a quart of petrol clams on the half shell/ Feels like prohibition baby give me the hard sell/ More give me more give me more more more/ I’m your yes man yes ma’am I’m your yes man.” It’s exhilarating; exhausting.
But Jennifer She Said, from the Commotions’ third album, Mainstream, was always my favourite, and there isn’t a more simple song. It’s about the fickle nature of early romance: the optimism and certainty of your feelings and the need to declare this “Her name on you, Jennifer in blue” that quickly gives way to a realisation that, actually, she’s not the one after all. And that’s it. It’s almost the antithesis of a Lloyd Cole song: you get the feeling he didn’t even have enough to say to fill the three minutes. No matter, I love songs that descend into a volley of time-filling “Ba ba bas”.
Jangly guitars, croaked delivery, floppy fringe I was sold. That and a girl at school called Genevieve (close enough). She said she was into me, and I her; it was very exciting. A few days later she dumped me in the dinner queue. “You change with the weather this is the rain.”
And the bassist? Of course, it’s the Guardian’s golf correspondent.
<NB – found this at Twitter via Bernard Butler. That BB? I don’t know… LC>
Publication: The Guardian
Publication date: 25/06/12