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coverpic flag England - Full Moon 123 - 10/07/06

Lloyd Cole
Anti Depressant
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 e-mail address

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