It would be fair to say that the unexpected success of 1995's "A Girl Like You" left Edwyn Collins, former singer known for little but an influential early-'80s Scottish group called Orange Juice, in a creative conundrum. After all, it had been over a decade since anyone even heard his name uttered in public. He could either head back to cultdom with his more experimental output or attempt to capitalize on the triumph of the big hit. It was an easy decision. For better or worse, on his second American release as a solo artist, I'm Not Following You, the songwriter tries to fit the smoky, lounge-style vocals, casual soul rhythms and gently strummed pop guitars of "A Girl Like You" into a variety of new formats. On "The Magic Piper," Collins gives the formula a mystical spin, lacing it with flutes and synth effects; with "Downer," he turns melancholy, spiking the song with grinding guitars and morose verses; and for dramatic variation there is "Seventies Night," replete with wah-wah guitars, slinky rhythms and a gruff vocal contribution from The Fall frontman Mark E. Smith. Hearing Collins' deviations on a solitary idea is an interesting if not always substantial listening experience, a fact the songwriter himself begrudgingly acknowledges with the album's opening lines, "The first two chords that I chanced upon/Became the bedrock of this song. --Aidin Vaziri
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from BAYSIDE, CA
Reviewed on 3/8/2007...
A very good album, actually, by the former Orange Juice singer. (This is a duplicate copy.) The song "Seventies Night" features guest vocals by Mark E. Smith.
Running the gambit
Adam J. Vogt | Ft. Collins, CO United States | 06/06/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of those insanely creative albums that takes more than one listen to sink in. A variety of musical styles are dabbled in here: there's lounge-rock (the title track and "Magic Piper") disco ("70's Night," complete with cool "ELO-like" distorted backing vocals) country rock (er, "Country Rock") and high-energy, going- on punk ("Adidas World"). But the best moment comes with the thoughtful "Running Away With Myself" on which the narrator goes back to his old school and wonders if he's "still o.k." over a groovy laid-back repeated bass line. Worth it for this track alone. Those who liked "A Girl Like You" will like the similar "Keep On Burning." If there are any faults here, its that Collins tends to go overboard with production tricks (the sound-effect drenched title track ends with loud machine gun sounds. Give it a rest!). Still, this is good for those looking for something different. Also, don't miss the included video for "Magic Piper": very creative!"
It's a steal
Christian S. Overfield | santa monica | 07/22/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Edwyn Collins is an uber-hero of mine, and this album is one of the reasons why. On first listen, you might think, "that's it?" But on repeated listens, of which I have had thousands, it just gets better and better and better and then some. For instance, I hope to die listening to Country Rock, a song that did little for me when I first heard it. The album yields so many layered gems and treasures. Listen, for instance, to the bass on Superficial Cat. I'm sometimes convinced that Edwyn is half black, i.e. African American, because his bass lines have SOUL, man, soul. Edwyn is also a masterful lyrcist, something I don't think is necessary to great music. But his lyrics are undeniably meaningful, clever, insightful, and constantly uplifting in a grounded, down-to-earth manner. I can't tell you how many times I'm hummed the first two phrases of Let Down to myself. And what about "I've tried it once or twice, but let's not get wrong/ you can't defeat the enemy by singing his song." I'm not as cogent in this review as I am in others because I just love the man so much. I'm tempted to say this album is my favorite, but his work is all one whole; this patch just happens to be a really, really awesome piece. Can't recommend it enough. Sadly you can find this album in any 99 cent bin of any used record store. Buy at least two if you've got any integrity."