Easy Pieces by Lloyd Cole and The Commotions

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Easy Pieces by Lloyd Cole and The Commotions
Easy Pieces by Lloyd Cole and The Commotions

Album Released: 1985

Easy Pieces ::: Artwork

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1.Rich4:23
2.Why I Love Country Music3:00
3.Pretty Gone3:32
4.Grace4:05
5.Cut Me Down4:27
6.Brand New Friend4:52
7.Lost Weekend3:15
8.James3:52
9.Minor Character3:44
10.Perfect Blue4:17

Reviews

Almost a carbon copy of the debut Rattlesnakes - the only musical advances are somewhat ill-fitting soul horns on the opener "Rich", so fans of the first album will find this one as welcome as an old friend returning for the weekend.

The mood is more richly melancholic than the debut, and the material is ever-so-slightly weaker overall, but "Lost Weekend" is Cole's catchiest uptempo pop-rocker yet - how could I not love a pop song that refers to Nathanael West's Miss Lonelyhearts and contains the plea Are you laughing at me now? May I please laugh along with you?

Perhaps my favorite though is "Why I Love Country Music," (answer: because it goes good with Spanish wine and a bad relationship). The divorce story of "Rich" is worthy of John Cheever, but it ends with the affirmation Baby you're a rich man (I trust you know what that alludes to).

The song that hits closest to home for me is "Grace", another of Cole's masterful thumbnail sketches of individual women, in which the heroine struggles with turning 28 - at 23 she could take on the world, but now she spits the gutter out. I know this sounds silly, but suddenly realizing in your mid-20s that you're growing older is a heartbreaking experience.

The album title is a reference to the classic Jack Nicholson vehicle Five Easy Pieces (naturally).

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by Reviewer: Creative Noise


I said in my review of Rattlesnakes that Lloyd Cole has never done anything to better it, but this second album by him and his Commotions, Easy Pieces, is still a very fine listen.

It continues with the rich guitar-keyboard sound, but with a much stronger string presence this time, which blends in beautifully, and all this again supports Cole’s limited vocal range, as long as a somewhat slicker production, to produce another very enjoyable musical experience.

The catchy opener "Rich" (which yes, is a bit monotonous, but that helps its catchiness) has Cole's voice overdubbed, meaning the record has a slightly different sound that's instantly apparent, despite its essential similarities to the debut, while the lyrics are again offbeat and curious, but very entertaining, although also sometimes particularly dark, with references to such things as suicide in "Minor Character", which stand in contrast to the bright music on that particular song.

As well as "Rich", highlights include "Grace", "Lost Weekend" (which is kind of a bedfellow to "Four Flights Up" from Rattlesnakes) and "Minor Character", although "James" holds things back a bit, being a bit plodding, while a couple of other songs just aren't quite as good as they might have been.

As I've said, Easy Pieces is very similar to Rattlesnakes, but at the same time it still stands on its own. Song for song, it can't quite match its predecessor in quality, but it doesn't fall very far short.

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by Reviewer: The Doctor