Vic Godard

Long Term Side-Effect

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After taking a long powder from music, punk-turned-Sinatra-wannabe Vic Godard returned to the fray in 1998 with an album that evinced less ambition than his earlier attempts at creating new lounge pop standards. However, it's the more relaxed atmosphere that's one of Long Term Side-Effect's greatest charms. Although Godard tries a little crooning on "Cold London Blues" (which also features a nifty guitar cameo from Roddy Frame), the majority of this collection is delightfully shambling rock and soul that compliments the star's artless vocals -- and focuses attention on the wit of songs like "Zero Tolerance" and "In the Shadow of Your Ego." Produced by kindred spirit Edwyn Collins, the album manages to cover a lot of ground in its lazy way -- serving up faux-Motown on "One Step From the Gutter, Baby," power pop on "We'll Keep Our Chains," and even surf with the twanging "George Blake -- Masterspy." But it all hangs together -- loosely, to be sure -- making Godard's low-key comeback a low-key success.

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