When I sent singer-songwriter Lloyd Cole $45 toward the recording of his new album, “Broken Record,” I didn’t think of the payoff. I was just investing in an artist who has meant a lot to me for 25 years and who is going it mostly alone in 2010. What I received in return was a beautifully produced deluxe box-set edition of the CD with a bonus disc of outtakes.

But is the country-tinged “Broken Record” worth the money based on the music alone? Hard to say; I’ve listened a half-dozen times and it’s yet to fully grab me, though the “Maggie May”-esque single “Writers Retreat!” is fantastic. Then again, I’m not a young man falling in love for the first time while listening to it as I was with 1984’s “Rattlesnakes” and 1985’s “Easy Pieces.” And I’m not backpacking through Europe with it like I did with 1987’s “Mainstream.”

I need to take “Broken Record” on a long road trip, like I did with Cole’s 2009 “Folksinger” CDs. In other words, I need to live with “Broken Record,” as I’ve done with all of Cole’s music — and that’s an investment I’m always happy to make.

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Publication: Express Night Out-The Washington Post

Publication date: 14/09/10