Review by David Bowling
Prior to his embarking upon a solo career during 1990, Lloyd Cole fronted his own band The Commotions. While his solo releases have gone in many directions, his latest release, Standards, has returned him to an electric rock and roll format.
His poetry, lyrical ability, and story telling remain intact but now they are presented with his leaving the acoustic direction of the last ten years behind. Backed primarily by drummer Fred Maher, bassist Matthew Sweet, and keyboardist Blair Cowan; his guitar and voice present his best set of songs since the Commotions debut album Rattlesnakes.
Oddly it is the only cover song that sets the tone for the album. Fork artist John Hartford’s “California Earthquake” was a pop hit for Mama Cass Elliot in 1968. Cole takes it in a basic and gritty rock direction.
Songs such as “Diminished Ex,” “Myrtle And Rose,” “Kids Today,” and “Blue Like Mars” run the gamut from energetic to subtle presentations of his musical vision.
Standards is a nice return to the past forLloyd Cole. Perhaps the best description is he has released a smart album of rock and roll music.