By Blaine Schultz
Lloyd Cole and the Commotions’ 1984 debut album, Rattlesnakes, garnered a good amount of airplay (both on college radio and MTV) and press. In the years that followed, this competent record would be lionized as a masterpiece. In hindsight, the dude had a ways to go.
Twenty-plus years and a dozen albums find Cole releasing another sophisticated pop album. Or mature pop album. Or literate pop album. Let’s just say that, lyrically, Cole comes across as pretty sincere… verging on humorless. He is content to merely litter the landscape – dropping hip, young urban references whenever he gets the chance. His jumbles of words come off like a blatant attempt to impress the listener.
But a typical album is a good year’s hard work, so let’s not pitch this disc into the landfill just yet. Musically and sonically, the album is brilliant. The stylish arrangements build on Cole’s modern folk tunes, adding brushed drums here, textured keyboards there and even a richly impressive string section on a few tracks. Rhythms lean toward bossa nova, while subtle loops and delayed guitar riffs add to the palette. If you can get beyond the lyrics, Antidepressant would be perfect listening in a Starbucks or Barnes & Noble.