Lloyd Cole, the Scottish singer and songwriter, is growing old, and he’s not sure he likes it. “I love the way you hold your head, because you’re young and you know it,” he sings in “Trigger Happy” on his new album, “Love Story” (Rykodisc), before going on to lament the generation gap of which he’s unwittingly become a victim.
Mr. Cole may have a patch of gray hair, but at 34 he’s not that old. Since his songs are so cerebral, analytical and melancholy, however, it’s no surprise that he thinks he is. With his first album, “Rattlesnakes” in 1984, Mr. Cole established himself as a thinking person’s romantic, combining the sensuality of Leonard Cohen, the cold life lessons of Lou Reed and the folk-rock of Bob Dylan (all singers who have aged gracefully). Despite a good amount of stylistic experimenting, Mr. Cole hasn’t been able to shake off the cult success of “Rattlesnakes,” and the audience at the Supper Club on Wednesday night continually shouted for songs from that album.
Mr. Cole obliged with their favorites, including “Perfect Skin” and “Are You Ready to Be Heartbroken?” along with some of his own favorites, like Mr. Reed’s “Rock ‘n’ Roll” and “New Age” by Mr. Reed’s old band, the Velvet Underground. Propped up by the lead-guitar lines of Neil Clark (who used to play in Mr. Cole’s old backup band, the Commotions) and the sumptuous keyboards of Amanda Kramer, Mr. Cole sang in a smooth, deep, even voice that concealed the turmoil and biting humor of his songs. “Everybody knows that this is nowhere,” he sang in one new song, playing off a line of Neil Young’s. “But you got to be there.” NEIL STRAUSS
Publication: New York Times
Publication date: 04/12/95