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Hope and Despair

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Album Review

Collins's post-Orange Juice debut album has the familiar trappings of one of Glasgow's most celebrated songwriters — a man whose main fallbacks seem to be lovelorn pessimism and cynicism toward the entertainment industry. Still, when you prepare the same feast as lovingly as Collins does, you'll never be short of house guests. The songwriting craft here is as keenly evident as you'd expect, with reggae hero Dennis Bovell (previously a member of Orange Juice's inner circle) providing production help and bass. Aztec Camera's Roddy Frame also contributes guitar. Highlights include "The Beginning of the End," which is downcast even by Collins' world-weary standards, as the artist treads carefully through everything from blue-eyed pop to rustic country in his resolutely surefooted manner.

Biography

Born: 23 August 1959 in Edinburgh, Scotland

Genre: Alternative

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

Best known for his tenure fronting the Scottish pop revivalists Orange Juice as well as his international solo hit "A Girl Like You," singer Edwyn Collins was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1959. In 1976, he formed the Nu-Sonics, who resurfaced three years later as Orange Juice; the leading proponent of the Glasgow neo-pop scene, the band earned a devoted cult following but little commercial success, and by the early '80s Collins was the only remaining founding...
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Hope and Despair, Edwyn Collins
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