Lloyd Cole - Antidepressant

The prolific and musing poetic songster, Lloyd Cole has lost none of his artistic craftsmanship and ability to build shuddering, simple and tuneful pop songs. This is despite being 14 albums into a colourful, if a little unrecognized career. In a reflective look at the cyclical decimation of rainbow tinted, youthful views in opener ‘Young Idealists’, Cole is like a wise old man regaling an audience with his words of wisdom and experience. A colourfully wide ranging backing band helps to draw out the worldly reflection in songs such as ‘NYC Sunshine’ and the dark tinged title track. In the latter track hollow percussion bears out the longing and adds to the pathos.

‘How Wrong You Can Be’, gently tosses around yearning vocals and a cutting philosophical nature, eclipsing the tone and style of offerings on arguably the best album so far from this life pondering talisman, ‘Bad Vibes’. It is easy to see how he has paved the way for the likes of Tom McCrae, Ed Parrish and Aqualung. ‘Everysong’ shows exactly how a harmonica should be used, and that is to pave a blues/country path for a varied accompaniment to take off from, then to meet up with the musical variety at sparse intervals. Not to accompany a solo acoustic guitar in a vein attempt to fatten things out, as too many artists do these days. The haunting ‘Slip Away’, is the most darkly lyrical offering and a seed of doubt will be planted in the most positive person around. Cole continues to harvest a musical retreat where all thoughts and feelings are welcome.

David Adair

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