ntrop | Foster City, CA United States | 10/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This seems to be a polarizing album for fans of Lloyd Cole. This is clearly his most cohesive set of songs since "Rattlesnakes". It's simply a question of whether or not you like the left turn he's taking here."Bad Vibes" is indeed all about mood. Things aren't going so well in Lloyd Cole's world. In a heart-breaking song near the end of the album, he sings softly "I'm a lonseome alcoholic", while trying to screw up the courage to ask someone "for the pleasure of your company". You get the feeling his potential new lover would be better off staying away from him, and that Lloyd knows it, too.Nevertheless, Cole is a top songwriter and in fine form here. This is Lloyd Cole's soundtrack to falling out of love with his significant other, his own life, and his fellow man. His wry observations and insightful, cutting lyrics are still here, along with that pop sheen all his albums seem to have. This still sounds like a Lloyd Cole CD, just a little darker and more self-lacerating."So you'd like to save the world?" he asks. "I suggest you take one person at a time and start with me". Get the picture?"
His best solo effort
Maek | Phoenix, AZ United States | 03/22/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After DON'T GET WEIRD ON ME, BABE, I honestly felt that Cole was saying goodbye in some strange way...especially with the last song on that album that ended with such bittersweet melodic strings.But, no, he came back! I remember going to college when this came out; I lived in England at the time, but was going to school in Colorado--hence, my mother in England was able to get me the UK release before a US release available. She told me the album title and described the cover as "Lloyd Cole slouched in a corner in a really bad mood."It sent chills down me and the chills were intensified when the guitar rumbled through me with the opening strains of "Morning is Broken." Following that song is Cole's satirical look towards global problems being treated as "fads" in "So You'd Like To Save The World?" There's the darkly sexual tone of "Wild Mushrooms" amongst other wonderful songs on this album.This album was such a refreshing 180 from DON'T GET WEIRD ON ME, BABE, which was a strange, confused album compared to this straightforward word play observations on self-reflection, relationships, and unabashedly unreserved obsession for a girl with her "natural grace."In my mind, there are no bad Lloyd Cole albums (Commotions, solo, or Negatives) -- but this is definitely his best solo album."
An album that grows on you
ntrop | 01/09/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm a huge Lloyd Cole fan and have been since the mid-'80's. On the first couple of listens I was very disappointed with this album and didn't listen to it much until about two years ago. Then I listened to it again very closely and found it challenging and interesting. The lyrics are clever as they always are, but the music goes in many directions that differ from Cole's standard fare, from the faux-beatlesque "Fall Together" to the funny "Seen the Future". This may be the sardonic Cole's wriest album, and it certainly is worth a patient listen."
James Carragher | New York | 06/15/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Bad Vibes starts well with Morning is Broken and So You'd Like to Save the World and ends pretty well with 4 M.B. (one of those "who's it about?" songs), but in between there is not much to get excited about. Call this a tame CD. Very soft arrangements, the usual cynical romantic well-crafted lyrics, all of it with little staying power in my book. Sometimes Cole's vocals are so laid back they're barely audible in the already quiet mix. Can't Get Arrested in particular meanders on entirely too long. Mister Wrong and My Way to You are the only other cuts I'd consider keepers."
A voice of dissent
Greg Brady | Capital City | 10/21/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Songs like "Half of Everything","She's a Girl and I'm a Man","Weeping Wine","Butterfly","You will Never Be No Good" and "Are you Ready to be Heartbroken?" won me over to Lloyd Cole's brand of cynical romanticism (or is it romantic cynicism?). In particular the sweeping grandeur of the string arrangements and melodies on DON'T GET WEIRD ON ME, BABE recalled prime era Jimmy Webb songs for me.
This one...well, let's say I don't get that feeling here. There isn't anything on here that really screams "outtake" (with the possible exception of the overlong "Can't Get Arrested") but all too often it's just a bland middle of the road safeness. The songs are nice while they're playing, but I can't recall them when the disc ends. Even the ones I'm calling "highlights" here are merely the CD's better spots not necessarily great music.
HIGHLIGHTS: "So You'd like to Save the World" finds Cole chasing a treehugger type and simultaneously castigating her naivete ("Did you really cry/when you saw the hole in the sky?/Did you really hold your head and hide your eyes?") and salivating over her body ("So you'd like to free my world/If you can free my inner child then I can free your inhibitions,baby"). "Love You So What" finds Cole after he's betrayed his lover and discovered what they say about a woman scorned is the truth. ("you beat me up, you put me down/you're slamming my name all over town/guess i'm big enough to roll with the punches/but you bruise me, you abuse me d**n good") It's probably the "poppiest" song on here thanks to an indelible keyboard riff. The gently loping "Wild Mushrooms" is an ode to sex under the influence of less than legal substances, while "Too Much of a Good Thing" marries trip hop with country as twangy guitars collide with insistent drum machine high-hat. Here Cole is probably at his most pragmatic romantically. ("If it's good to me/And it's good to you/won't you stay with me/and i will stay with you..") "Seen the Future" is a snide look at trendy musical acts. ("All my friends do the model girl thing/So I found one, now she wears my nose ring..") "For the Pleasure of Your Company" underscores its tale of a flawed man on the make with menacing tremeloed guitars and dramatic martial drum interludes. (NOTE: This song appears only on this U.S. version..the U.K. version omits it and "4 M.B.")
LOWS: "Can't get Arrested" should have been titled "Can't Stay Awake". Way...too...long. There's some nicely bitter words in there about Cole's unknown status in the U.S. but it should have been boiled down to a tasty confection instead of this sprawling Viennese torte of a song. "4 M.B." finds Cole a nonentity in his own song..mixed so low that his muffled whisper quite often is a subtle coloring rather than center of the tune.
BOTTOM LINE: Diehard Cole fans may still want to have this one and it does grow on you more with repeat listenings. However, I've owned this one for around 7 years now and it's still far from a favourite of mine. If you're dipping your toes in because of Cole's presence on so many Amazon lists here, make sure that DON'T GET WEIRD ON ME, BABE is your first exposure, not this disc. Definitely a "hear it first" CD."