Sunday 31 March 2013

Edwyn Collins: Understated

Home Again was the tender album made recovering from illness; Losing Sleep was the album made with famous fans and friends as if Edwyn had died; Understated is the album made by a revitalised musician at the top of his game. "That's why I'm living my own youth/That's why I'm living my own truth/And I feel alive/And I feel reborn," Edwyn explains on Forsooth.

Home Again's Written In Stone etched out Edwyn's frustration and confusion:
Directions that confound me
I can't find my way home
But I will get there
On my own

Understated is the sound of Edwyn finding his way home. His determination and grit is realised in footstomping soul and punchy anthems. The album was recorded with his long-term live backing band, which gives Understated a purposeful unity and cohesion.

I didn't buy Losing Sleep - the album made with fans including Johnny Marr, Franz Ferdinand and The Cribs - because there was a touch of the tribute album to it. Bleak and spare as Home Again was, Losing Sleep was far more morbid, despite the contributors' good intentions.

Understated, though, is urgent and powerful and stirring. It's easily his best album since Gorgeous George. And as he predicted on Home Again, he got there on his own.

1 comment:

  1. 'as if Edwyn had died' - that's exactly right, though I hadn't thought of it before. 'Understated' is so much better.