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Friday, June 7, 2013


EDWYN COLLINS - Understated (AED)

A wonderfully strong British pop record filled with Northern Soul goodness from the former Orange Juice frontman’s eighth solo album.

Edwyn's eighth solo album is a joyous occasion, filled with bright melodies and toe-tapping rhythms. It's also a joyous album lyrically, filled with the life-affirming declarations of the man that suffered two brain hemorrhages less than a decade ago. Edwyn's sweet spot has always been the intersection of post-punk indie pop and Northern Soul, and that's exactly where Understated hits. And it hits hard, showcasing a mastery of pop songwriting that seems effortless (but when you know the backstory it's anything but). The spirit and vintage sounds of Motown and Stax are deep in the grooves, but he never actually copies any specific reference point. The feel of those soul records is so ingrained into his psyche that it comes out naturally in his songwriting. It never sounds calculated, as it does in the hands of so many of his contemporaries. The record sounds fresh and natural, maybe the most consistent album in his thirty plus year career.

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