In the two and a half years following the release of Mainstream, Lloyd Cole signed to Capitol Records in the U.S., split from the Commotions, and moved to New York. For his first solo album, he assembled a team consisting of two New York band veterans -- drummer/co-producer Fred Maher and guitarist Robert Quine, both of whom had played in Richard Hell's Voidoids and Lou Reed's backup group -- plus bassist Matthew Sweet and Commotions keyboard player Blair Cowan. As a result, Lloyd Cole boasts a tougher, harder sound than the Commotions' records. Cole's vocals, meanwhile, have become more direct and less stylized. Cole's lyrics are also less adorned, and he has lightened up somewhat. Much of Lloyd Cole is musically astringent in a way Cole hasn't managed previously, even if the album is far less ambitious than his first two records.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann