Lloyd Cole

The Negatives

“I make a conscious effort these days not to write anymore,” says tunesmith Lloyd Cole. “I’m kind of terrified of that sort of elder-statesman of rock who’s terrified of drying up, who keeps forcing himself to write because he thinks that he’s not a creative person if he doesn’t.” On The Negatives, Cole’s first album of new material since 1995, the songwriter shows no signs of falling into that trap. The first album in his discography whose songs were shaped live before being recorded, The Negatives captures that spontaneity from start to stop. Like Don’t Get Weird On Me, Babe, Cole’s new set is an electric-guitar-oriented outing stippled with strings and synths, save folky guy-and-guitar cuts such as “No More Love Songs.” Whether running through confessional ballads like “That Boy” or pointed commentaries like “Negative Attitude,” Cole’s seductive voice, like a good merlot, shows every sign of growing smokier and more sensuous with age.