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Mainstream by Lloyd Cole
Released: Jan 1987
Label: Capitol Records
Lloyd Cole's final album with his Scottish band the Commotions, Mainstream features cutting songs about burnouts, frazzled nerves and a general lack of faith. Cole hated the album's dark, metallic production, claiming it made the folk-rocking Commotions sound like Simple Minds. Yet the production matches the songs' mood to make this the aural equivalent of 1980s jittery cocaine novels like Bright Lights, Big City. U.K. hit "Jennifer, She Said" hasn't aged a day, and "Hey Rusty" is a coming-of-age movie boiled down to four minutes. After this, Cole would move to America and stop shaving.
Nick Dedina

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