Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Do You Know How To Spell Audaciously?

For my money, one of the most overlooked and under-appreciated artists in the last twenty years is Lloyd Cole. I have never understood how it is that he's not a universally beloved artist, but in this era of record companies whose only interest is in the bottom line, perhaps this is to be expected. Nevertheless, Lloyd's cadre of fans remain a devoted lot, and these days, that devotion is requited via regular postings on his blog (which recently included almost daily updates on the technical details of making his most recent record). And I suppose that there are other benefits to his mysterious lack of celebrity -- seeing him perform several years ago with The Negatives upstairs at Smith's Olde Bar, and getting to hang out downstairs with him for a bit afterwards, is a memory that I will always cherish. Nowadays, however, I get the feeling that too many people who were aware of Lloyd Cole and the Commotions' spectacular Rattlesnakes, for whatever reason haven't kept kept up with his solid solo career. Now is a good time to remedy that.

In keeping with this theme, my vote for the Best, But Generally Ignored, Record of 2006 is Lloyd Cole's Antidepressant, which represents something of a return to pop from 2004's more folk-oriented Music In A Foreign Language. If you last listened to Lloyd in his Commotion days, you should know that he's aged well. The aughts find him less brooding and more contemplative, and Antidepressant is a readily-accessible picture of middle-aged resignation, with great melodies and the gorgeous guitar work of fellow former Commotion Neil Clark.

To hear what I'm talking about, take a walk with the junkies and the millionaires in the "NYC Sunshine."

If you're but a youngster or otherwise have no idea what this post about, go back in time and check out the '80s video for "Rattlesnakes" from the Commotions' debut album of the same name.