The Orange Juice

The Orange Juice

By the time Orange Juice recorded its final studio album in 1984, the former quartet was down to a twosome: Edwyn Collins and drummer Zeke Manyika. Without the rock-solid rhythm section of Malcolm Ross and David McCloymont, the songs became more opened-ended and textural. Of course, Edwyn Collins was a pop classicist at heart; even when abstracted, his songs paired first-rate melodies with crafty lyrics. His croon is in full bloom on “Get While the Gettings Good” and “All That Ever Mattered,” while “Lean Period” and “I Guess I’m Just a Little Too Sensitive” are the last great R&B tunes from Scotland’s gentlest, gawkiest soul band. Manyika’s Zimbabwe-inspired percussion alights the songs, but there's no question that this was Edwyn’s show. He would go on to a glorious solo career, but there's still something bittersweet about this farewell from the group that made him famous. The object of desire portrayed in “Salmon Fishing in New York”—spied dripping in a wetsuit, “like the wild cat of Scotland”—is perhaps the sweetest and most skewed heroine in a career full of sweetly skewed love portraits.

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