Lloyd Cole

Love Story

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It stands to reason that a Lloyd Cole album called Love Story would not have a happy beginning or middle, much less ending. Actually, though, it does start out happy, "Trigger Happy," that is, and later on, Cole is "Happy for You," in which he sings, "If you love him, you should leave me." In between, things get no sunnier, as Cole and his characters drink and despair, but carry on. That determination is very much part of Cole's negative world-view: "Everybody knows this is nowhere," he says, to coin a phrase, "but you've gotta be there." (Except, one supposes, for Lucy, who jumps from the 39th floor in the rollicking "Let's Get Lost.") Typically, Cole couches these sentiments in melodic folk-rock, such that, with the volume low and just following the attractive lilt of his voice, a listener might find this a far more soothing piece of music than it turns out to be on closer examination.

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