Kevin Coyne

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By the mid-'70s, Kevin Coyne was becoming very much a "cult" artist: one that would be appreciated by a small but significant segment of fans, who would buy new releases not so much because they wanted the particular record, but because they liked the particular artist. This is the kind of collection that is going to be sought mostly by that cult, as it's not one of his stronger efforts, and not likely to be adapted by anyone who hasn't previously been exposed to Coyne. The arrangements are more conventional than most of his previous work (a pre-Police Andy Summers handles guitar), and much of the results are routine. Not lifeless, though; anything sung by Coyne will have roughness around the edges (and his voice here sometimes sounds not just raw, but downright worn). And songs about folks who carry guns, knives, and smash the faces of their wives (in "Turpentine") are not your usual rock fare. The words are unconventional, but the settings are average in a mid-'70s way, which dilutes the lyrics' impact, and makes this an unmemorable effort on the whole.

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