England - Full Moon 123 - 10/07/06
Sanctuary Records Ltd.
For those who didn't know, Lloyd Cole has been releasing albums frequently since his time with The Commontions. They broke up in 1989 (although re-formed in 2004 for their 20th anniversary), which leaves us with a whole lot more material from Cole's solo-work than with his former band. This is actually his ninth album since The Commotions. Nowadays (last four albums) he records mostly in his home in the north-east of USA. He's doing well.
You shouldn't worry that Lloyd's strayed too far off from his lyrically gloomy, though often hilarious, world. Still a master of the most wonderful one-liners and a splendid storyteller in general, his significant melodies bears the registration-mark of Lloyd-land unmistakably. A creative strength in my opinion. Although the 2003-album Music In a Foreign Language made a greater impact on me from the get-go, Antidepressant is not a weak album. It just lacks a couple of those songs that bends too much towards either side of the middle, like "My Other Life" or "Brazil" from his latter effort. This album is a lot more streamlined and polished on the edges.
Highlights here are "Woman In a Bar", "How Wrong Can You be", "I Am Not Willing" and "Travelling Light", all of which represents very different sides of Cole's songs. You know you're listening to a Lloyd Cole-tune as lines like "no longer driven to distraction, not even by Scarlett Johansson" hits you. I can't help but smile and feel just a little bit better while listening. The same way that Leonard Cohen manages to paint a bleak picture of the human existence, but nothing more colourful, humorous and vital could strike me at the moment.
I am willing to claim that Lloyd Cole has that same quality to his work. Concerning that Cohen is now 72 and Cole is 45, there is hope for the self-deprecating melancholics and deadpan ironists in the world. Both of them write out of their mirrors, sometimes with a grin and sometimes with a smile but they make it a whole lot easier to face the mirror yourself. Put Lloyd Cole back on your map!
Copyright © 2006 Anders Svendsen