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Mainstream

Lloyd Cole

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Album Review

If Lloyd Cole was less worried about depressing his listeners on his third album, he also seemed determined to stir them up, adopting various personas in his songs, from the lover who tattoos himself with the name Jennifer only to find that the ink lasts longer than the relationship in "Jennifer She Said" (a U.K. Top 40 hit) to Sean Penn. There were a few song narrators who seemed close to the singer himself, and they sounded just as discontented. There was little to alleviate the vitriol in the music, which was unusually muted, and long before the end Cole had begun to sound like a crank. The album's saving grace was "Hey Rusty," a song with a Springsteen-like theme and a U2-like musical track. If there were more songs this coherent, specific, and moving, Mainstream might have ranked with Cole's first two albums.

Biography

Born: 31 January 1961 in Buxton, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Through both his lauded work fronting the Commotions and his more eclectic solo efforts, Lloyd Cole established himself as one of the most articulate and acute songwriters of the post-punk era. Born January 31, 1961, in Buxton, England, Cole formed the Commotions in 1982 while studying philosophy at the University of Glasgow. Originally a large soul band, the group eventually trimmed itself down...
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