It would be too easy to allow sentimentality into the equation when pronouncing Edwyn Collins’ ‘Losing Sleep’ set as one of the best of this, or any year. Yet even if you were so heartless as to not be moved by the story of Edwyn’s recuperation there is inevitably a connection between those events and the album that cannot be ignored. Not that there are any big proclamations here (you hardly need me to tell you that Collins is no Bono); rather the experiences and reflections thread through the songs in the most natural of ways. The title track is as good an example of this as any, and it is hard to imagine any finer album opener. Lyrically it is full of the self-questioning doubts and insecurities that lurk in the shadows of middle age, whilst musically it simultaneously pops and surges, swirls and swooshes like a breakneck ride on a cacophonous waltzer. So it’s that juxtaposition that makes it such a great song, and that also makes it such a great album.
I find it heartening that in this era of X-Factor shenanigans there is still space for a 51 year old to produce a piece of Pop Art that is both suffused by effervescent, youthful energy and measured, mature experience. Hopefully, regardless of your own age or experience, you feel the same.