Zachary Cole Smith has overcome a multitude of problems to make this intensely powerful album
Album Review: Edwyn Collins - Losing Sleep
The Scottish indie legend ropes in a host of guests but shines brightest himself on one of his best albums yet
The problem with having turned mentor to those he inspired is that, overborne by the guest spots, his seventh solo album ‘Losing Sleep’ could have ended up being the British indie version of Santana’s ‘Supernatural’. Thank cripes, then, that Edwyn has worked hard to integrate his studio visitors to fit his own iron-strong vision.
Indeed, he’s struck the perfect balance between musical exploration and delivering the trademark spiky kazoo-ish guitar buzz he forged with Orange Juice. Most notably on the punchy ‘Bored’, on which he offers a taut cleanliness a step up from OJ’s more cut-loose sound, while on ‘In Your Eyes’ he swerves into different territory, yet remains poised, enlisting The Drums’ Jonathan Pierce to stand in front of his insanely classic riff and croon like Robert Smith.
Dreamy and classic, yes, but ‘Losing Sleep’ is still fun – Edwyn knows that Franz Ferdinand work best with a camp wink and a nudge, so Alex Kapranos gives his smiliest, hip-wiggling “Do do do it again”s on ‘Do It Again’.
It’s been a hard road for Edwyn since 2005 – and he doesn’t shirk from this lyrically, telling us he’s been “losing dignity” and wondering ‘What Is My Role?’ with The Cribs’ Ryan Jarman. But ‘… Sleep’’s pedigree makes any suggestion that his reverence is in any way based on reappraisal following his turmoil laughable. He’s made one of the best British albums of the year – that’s why he should be fêted.
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