Time and circumstance have not blunted the abilities of a pop national treasure
Something of a double-edged sword, so-called national treasure status. Are people interested in your creative output or just… well, your continuing existence? Edwyn Collins, while not quite Shirley Bassey, is arguably a pop national treasure, more so since a near-fatal brain haemorrhage eight years ago. This is the 53-year-old’s second post-recovery album, and lyrics like “I’m so happy to be alive” (‘Forsooth’) are sobering in their humility. Musically, the Scot still delivers a choppy take on ’60s-vintage soul and guitar pop, as he did fronting Orange Juice three decades ago. Time and circumstance have not blunted his abilities, and ‘Understated’ is lyrically empathetic, musically emphatic.