Lloyd Cole and the Commotions - Easy Pieces (1985).
Even though it's not in my desert island discs list, it's somewhere very close. I've never tired of this album, the first one my sister bought by him - yes, that's right, I'm guilty - it wasn't until later on that I heard Rattlesnakes, after Steven had said to me one day at high school, "hey, Forest Fire's such a great song, you're missing out." But back to this album, which lacks its predecessor's overt name-dropping. It was the single, Lost Weekend that grabbed me straight up with its near-perfect rhyming couplets in a story so whimsical and self-deprecating all at once. In time of course, the other songs all followed, especially the pleading Brand New Friend (complete with "ooo"'s in the background, and the downward-spiralling violins as he sings "and it's all downhill now").
Last year when I turned 28, one of the first things I thought of was Grace and its "does it feel so bad to be 28 ? you were 23, and you could do anything, now you open your mouth and you spit the gutter out." But there's so many other moments in this album - I never worked out what he was on about with "wrapped up in needlecord and coincidence", but it's stuck in my mind all this time, along with the melodrama of Minor Character and the stuck-in-a-rut lazy/boozy why I love country music. The best gets saved for last, though, with the dreamy Perfect Blue.
Well, ok, the CD has 3 extra tracks, but it's the tape I remember well.
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