The Lotus Eaters

No Sense of Sin

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The glimmering, jangly pop of the Lotus Eaters evokes images of lonely summer afternoons. Peter Coyle's dulcet vocals ache with profound yearning; Morrissey may have won the mope rock mantle in the '80s, but if the Lotus Eaters had become as successful as the Smiths, Coyle would've robbed him of the Sad Sack crown. No Sense of Sin, the Lotus Eaters' 1984 debut album, is a gorgeously crafted collection of melancholic guitar pop. "Love Still Flows" and "The First Picture of You" caress the ears with haunting piano and twinkling guitars; both songs unreel with a cinematic feel, the music and lyrics drawing sentimental memories from the listener's imagination. On the powerful "It Hurts," Jeremy Kelly's guitar sounds like a heart shrieking in pain as Coyle wallows in his grief. The starry-eyed keyboards and sing-along chorus of "German Girl" and spellbinding violin of "Set Me Apart" deepen the Lotus Eaters' appeal; they further explore Coyle's hankering for affection while lifting the spirits with sharp hooks. [No Sense of Sin was reissued by BMG Japan in 1998, and that version easily tops the original with ten bonus tracks, including the driving "You Don't Need Someone New" and the delicate "Two Virgins Tender." Unfortunately, the superior extended 12" version of "It Hurts" isn't included, but that's the album's only sin.]

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