Edwyn Collins: Understated
If you had never heard Edwyn Collins’ music before Understated, you might reasonably assume that the man is a seasoned veteran of the scene. However, this record is made all the more brilliant by the positivity displayed by a man who suffered a couple of debilitating cerebral hemmorhages. This is the second solo record Collins has recorded since the incident and is more uplifting than it has any right to be.
“I’ve got music to see me through,” Collins declares on the bluesy “Baby Jean,” and that sentiment rings true throughout the album. “Dilemna” is triumphantly retro with its slinky and mysterious horns, while “In the Now” features both strings and saxophone to make all the more epic Collins’ message about staying focused on the present.
“Carry On, Carry On” demonstrates upbeat pop sensibility that would hit home with any age group, while “31 Years” is a succinct look back with joy rather than regret. Understated is the perfect title for an album that’s less playful and clever than its predecessors, but also boldly content to be joyful rather than complicated. Many of these songs sound like they were lifted from the ‘70s, but maybe that’s because they ought to be instant classics.