I recently downloaded Edwyn Collins’ latest album, Losing Sleep, which came out last year in the U.K. but earlier this year in the U.S. Many American music fans probably don’t know too much about Collins, and if you do, this is the song you most likely know by him:
In 2005 Collins suffered two brain hemorrhages which left him in the hospital for six months and required him to learn how to walk and speak again. Unfortunately, his right hand remains paralyzed leaving him unable to play guitar. Remarkably though, while his speech remains affected, his singing voice has returned and left him able to write and play new songs (no doubt his voice is different, less full and more quavering, but it hardly detracts from the new songs).
Predictably I suppose, the lyrics on the new album are much more direct and humble than Collins’ previous work, as on the title track when he sings “I’m losing sleep, I’m losing dignity”:
The original version of is good as well and is pretty much what I’ve come to expect from Collins over the years, but the acoustic version strips what we know of Collins away and lets us focus on the lyrics and melody more, plus it has a cool saxophone part.
Unpredictable and refreshing however is the fact that Losing Sleep is no pity party, no more apparent than when he sings “And I’m trying to comprehend the force, the fear/I’m willing to accept the good that’s near” in All My Days:
Probably my favorite song on the album is In Your Eyes, a performance with The Drums and Collins’ son who helps out on vocal duties:
Another excellent track is It Dawns on Me:
Hopefully I’ve sold someone on what is an excellent record that stands out for its honesty and emotion while not being an album full of ‘woe is me’ misery sung by some jack-ass whose problems in life are self-inflicted. Oh, and the music is good as well.