Lloyd Cole's songs are like Raymond Carver stories set to music -- sketches of self-destructive, lovelorn fools, and the short bursts of happiness they experience just before the next disaster. Originally lumped in with Morrissey, Cole was closer to the love song/Folk-Pop sides of Leonard Cohen, the Velvet Underground and Bob Dylan. He quickly rose to fame in the Jangle Pop-crazed early '80s with his band the Commotions, but by the end of the decade had relocated to New York and nabbed Matthew Sweet, Fred Maher and Robert Quine to be his backing band. His solo albums have alternated between less stylized Folk-Pop (augmented by classical strings and experimental production techniques) and AOR-style workouts, all to varying degrees of success. However, when Cole sticks to just putting a song over straightly, as on his album Love Story, he always scores.