Heavenly Recordings/Cooperative Music USA/Downtown
This is the sound of a midlife panic attack when it's informed by a near-death experience and a bone-deep love of old R&B 45s. Ex-leader of the influential Scottish band Orange Juice Edwyn Collins suffered two brain hemorrhages in 2005. This collection details the ups and downs of his post-stroke life, without ever sounding depressive or dirgey. On the Motown-style title track, he spits insecurity over snappy drumming from ex-Sex Pistol Paul Cook. On "Over the Hill," Collins lauds "clarity, simplicity" amid a breezy melody. Those are nice ideals when your head is a mess of self-doubt, as he surely knows. Pop can be therapeutic that way.
Listen to Edwyn Collins' "Losing Sleep":