Edwyn Collins Losing Sleep

Edwyn Collins Losing Sleep
In recent years, Edwyn Collins's life has been one of ups and downs, to say the least. Despite his former band, Orange Juice, solidifying their place amongst indie pop royalty with the recent Coals to Newcastle box set, the Scottish songwriter suffered a brutal personal setback in 2005, experiencing a double brain haemorrhage that found him partially paralysed and forced to embark upon on a lengthy rehabilitation process. Losing Sleep, the 51-year-old's first album, written and recorded since the near-death incident, can only be seen as part of that road to recovery. Much like 2007's Home Again (which was mixed in the wake of the setback), Losing Sleep is the sound of Collins bouncing back and is easily his most upbeat and rocking album in years. With the help of such guests as Johnny Marr, the Cribs' Ryan Jarman, Alex Kapranos and Nick McCarthy of Franz Ferdinand, and the Drums, Collins lays aside his blue-eyed folk/soul ballads in favour of fired-up, Motown-influenced songs that bring their fair share of post-punk attitude. Still, this is a true Collins solo record, packed full of his never-sounded-better croon, knack for killer melodies and at least one track that, in a perfect world, would be a No. 1 pop hit ("In Your Eyes"). Not only is Losing Sleep a stunning example of human perseverance, it's one of the best-sounding victory laps out there. (Heavenly)