Friday, December 30, 2005


Lloyd Cole

Following a successful European tour and a mere two years after his masterpiece, Music In A Foreign Language, wistful fin-de-siecle troubadour Lloyd Cole is up against the odds with his new double album, Fish In A Barrel. As always, the master wordsmith pulls another sultry gem out of his quirky hat. Fish… opens with a blistering acoustic version of Bob Dylan’s Jokerman that knocks the original into a cocked hat. The second track and first single, Hats Off, is a searing, swooping indictment of formality at weddings, its plaintive harp cryin’ the blues over a throbbing sea of Moog and double bass riffs. Unusually for Lloyd, there’s a guest vocalist in the form of none other than Joe Cocker on the faux-disco anthem Bowler; but really, the guests are there in spirit if not flesh as the first disc wends its way through a field of homage to Van Morrison, Mickey Spillane and The Kinks.

The second disc is less successful but in a way a greater achievement. It’s an extended cover of Lou Reed’s neglected rock-epic Metal Machine Music, more melodic yet if anything more experimental, more deviant, than the original, with its fusion of twelve-string guitar feedback and a full orchestra that reaches the heights of John Williams at his best. Crucially, Cole adds a vocal to the mix which is almost certainly his own, though the voice here sounds little like his normal one, incorporating as it does a whispered baritone tone which sounds like a musical instrument of some sort.

Hats off to Lloyd yet again, then. Four and a half stars out of five.


No, I don't mean Lloyd Cole... who's that other bloke?

Nick Cave?
Lloyd Cave, yes, that's the one, thanks, Andraste. Though I can't even remember now if I've got the album title right.
Damn, I though it was Lloyd Bank. That fellow has scads of lolly just laying about in buildings all over the place.

He's so loaded, I thought he had to be a musician.
Hi Foot Eater. I noticed on El Barbudo's blog that it says "So for all those mentioned above, you can insert this icon" and you are mentioned above, so I guess you can use it too...
Dr E. - you could be right. Lloyd Bank was in that band with Nathaniel West and Abigail National, wasn't he?

Jokemail - yes, I thought of doing that for a laugh, but I can think of places I'd rather insert it.
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