Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Lloyd Cole and the Commotions

  • Rattlesnakes [Geffen, 1985] B+
  • 1984-1989 [Capitol, 1989] B-

See Also:

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Rattlesnakes [Geffen, 1985]
A Glaswegian whose romanticism mixes the mundane and the pretentious in nice lyrical proportions, Cole is like a middle-class Roddy Frame escaped to university instead of the bohemian fringe. Born just before the Beatles made it respectable for college kids to like beat music, he claims student life as the rock and roll subject it so obviously is, and I say about time. So what if he can't stop talking about books and movies and gathers his material on day trips from his walkup flat? Does that make him so different from you? B+

1984-1989 [Capitol, 1989]
As an exemplary undergraduate he had his place in the great chain of being, but as a perpetual grad student he needs ID. (Maybe also a better rhythm section.) On this compilation, with two B sides for bait (and four accredited Rattlesnakes tracks for quality), he applies for his card. I wouldn't put it past college radio to give it to him. (The card, I mean--college radio wouldn't know a good rhythm section if one played live in the studio.) B-