Music and Weather
Yesterday’s listen to Gramercy Arms led me back to 2000 and Lloyd Cole. I may have heard one or two Cole songs before musician/producer friend and I happened upon Matthew Sweet’s tour bus in Providence, RI, where, amid awkward small talk, Sweet inexplicably gave us a stack of Lloyd Cole cds, new reissues, I think. Cole was my musical type, sweet-voiced Brit, but I was never swept off my feet.
The Negatives is Cole’s post-Commotions, post-solo outing with a new band, which includes Dave Derby (former Dambuilders, current Gramercy Arms) and Jill Sobule, who would go on to fame with “I Kissed a Girl.” After listening to this collection of songs, I feel like I just read a collection of short stories by a prolific, but shadowy author. Cole is not actually shadowy, he has an active website, www.lloydcole.com.
The opener, “Past Imperfect,” takes us through flashes of Cole’s reflections, and lost memories, to Amsterdam and LA, knit together by a nimble guitar riff. Listening to “Impossible Girl” makes me wonder if the tune was floating through Steven Moffatt’s head when he created the Impossible Girl story arc for Doctor Who, Matt Smith’s 11th doctor, and Jenna Coleman’s portrayal of uber-companion, Clara Oswald.
Things get a bit bleak, with moody heroines featured in “No More Love Songs” (“Rather than company, I prefer cigarettes”) and “Vin Ordinaire” (“June is smoking with a vengeance/I think she wants to look like Patti Smith”). “Too Much E” is a rocker, almost hidden like an Easter egg among the rest of the musical stroll; the other songs stand like museum pieces to take in, this is a visit to a pub with a cute guy you met in the gallery, but it ends too quickly at just 2:31.
The Negatives – Lloyd Cole