Edwyn Collins -‘Losing Sleep’ (Heavenly)
Thirty years into his career, Edwyn Collins continues to demonstrate why he is so highly regarded. In the late 1970s as the Nu-Sonics evolved into Orange Juice, and that band spoke of mixing the sounds of the Velvet Underground and Chic, there were those who jeered (presumably those who had heled onto their Genesis and ELP albums). But here he is, continuing to do what he does best, write, sing and perform.
It’s not so much the mixing of the Velvets and Chic I hear within here , but -and I mean this most warmly as a compliment -the mixing of the craft of the best sixties and seventies soul (think Gaye, Mayfield and Hayes) and Lou Reed. Given that Orange Juice covered Al Green’s ‘L.O.V.E. Love’ and he joined forces with Paul Quinn to cover the Velvets’ ‘Pale Blue EyesHis voice is gorgeously distinctive -my wife immediately recognised who it was. The opening title track has the feel of the best soul you’ve ever heard and then makes way for the Lou Reed-type menace of ‘What Is My Role?, a track co-written with Ryan Jarman of The Cribs. ‘There’s not a dud track on here, and the record finishes with ‘Searching for the truth,’ enforcing that there are twelve new worthy editions to the Collins catalogue.
With songwriting collaborations also coming from the likes of members of Franz Ferdinand, The Drums, Johnny Marr and Roddy Frame, there’s a sense of a master receieving the recognisition from both contemporaries and those who are deeply indebted to him. It’s time to stop mentioning that hit and that event, and to recognise Collisn for what he is: one of Britain’s top singer-songwriters who continues at the top of his game.
Long may he run.
Losing Sleep is out now on Heavenly.
Edwyn Collins ‘Losing Sleep’