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. Rated:
by Reviewer: The Doctor