Review: Losing Sleep

Depending on your age, and your love of Scottish post-punk bands, you will either be a fan of Edwyn Collins, or only know him as the singer of a quirky hit featured on the soundtrack for 1995's Empire Records - "A Girl Like You".  Collins, who fronted a key band of the time, Orange Juice, has an entirely unique vocal style, that was very refreshing and non-mainstream in the classic 1983 hit single "Rip It Up" - one of the finest songs of the 1980s.  Collins has had a patchy career - but is beloved - and can be rightly said to have gifted us with at least three great songs in his 30-year career - for the title track of his first album since 2005, "Losing Sleep" is also splendid.

The album has been well-received in the UK, for two reasons: one, this is a near-miraculous comeback for Collins, who suffered a "double brain hemorrhage" five years ago, and had to relearn how to basically speak and play from scratch, and two, the album is also a throw-back to the sort of sweet, genuine, Motown-inflected guitar pop that recalls the era of "This Charming Man", and indeed, at least one Smiths appears here.  Hard-driving, with touching humbling lyrics, Losing Sleep is oddly uplifting, simply catchy, and makes me want to put on a shirt and tie and go dancing in a church basement.  It is growing on me with its modest style and passionate subtext of hope and recovery in the face of really appalling odds.


Andrew Shields said…
Thanks for the tip, Todd. I'm going to check him out. An additional reason to do so: he and I share a birthday! (If five years apart.)

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