Lloyd Cole hasnít always been the most prolific songwriter, but over the course of eight albums in nearly two decades the moody Glasgow-born, New York-based singer/guitarist has been remarkably consistent. On occasion he has been plagued by the kind of record-company woes that make it tough to keep up a regular release schedule ó for example, his European label Mercury declined to release his follow-up to 1995ís Love Story (which came out on Rykodisc in the US). Thus The Negatives, which includes three tunes originally recorded for the rejected Mercury album, is his first CD in six years.
Backed by a full band that features former Dambuilder Dave Derby on bass and oddball songstress Jill Sobule on guitar, Cole sticks to the kind of wry, melancholy, often self-effacing, always hook-laden guitar pop thatís been his calling since his early days with the Commotions. Already back in those days ó which Commotions fans will find subtly alluded to in The Negativesí autobiographical opening cut, " Past Imperfect " ó his songcraft had a mature, literate sensibility, so it hasnít been too hard for him to age gracefully. Even " Man on the Verge, " a typically wistful Cole number about midlife crisis, wouldnít have been out of place in a Commotions set. He recently signed on with United Musicians, the e-commerce-oriented cooperative started by two like-minded singer-songwriters, Aimee Mann and Michael Penn; if nothing else, that should make getting his recordings out there a little bit easier.
Issue Date: June 7 - 14, 2001