Don't Get Weird On Me, Babe

The title of Lloyd Cole’s new album is a close approximation of the response some old-time fans are going to have when they hear it. The first six songs from the sultry British songwriter — he used to lead a band called the Commotions and had an album-rock radio hit with ”Perfect Skin” in 1984 — are typically first-rate examples of his languid-voiced, grindy-guitar style. Cole is his usual amusingly sarcastic, slightly bookish self on the opening rave-up, ”Tell Your Sister,” and on the rockin’ single ”She’s a Girl and I’m a Man.” The record’s second half, however, has a half-dozen string-laden ballads orchestrated by Paul Buckmaster, who has done similar work for everyone from Elton John to Miles Davis. There are lyrical moments (”I got unclean thoughts flying through my head,” Cole leers winningly on ”Butterfly”), but the image of the bedroom-eyed rocker fronting sensuous strings never gels. Cole’s no dilettante, and Don’t Get Weird is a strong record. But Cole should perhaps concentrate on delivering real rock & roll goods over a full album — something he has never quite done in his seven-year career. B

Don't Get Weird On Me, Babe
  • Music