Minus the terrible cover art and the aberrant jock rock boogie of the opening track, "Monkey," the remainder of Richard Lloyd's most recent solo outing falls comfortably within his angular and ordered realm. Since his heyday playing second fiddle to Tom Verlaine in Television, Lloyd has released several efforts that focused on his rigid and sometimes cold technique as well as his middling singing ability. More often than not, Lloyd's compositional flair has shone through, and The Radiant Monkey is his best in several years.
"I want to ride in the rhythm of the setting sun," sings Lloyd on "Glurp," emphasizing the machine-like regularity that is his stock and trade. When Lloyd wanders into generic blues/boogie territory, the results are iffy. "Swipe It" could be a long lost outtake from a mediocre Keith Richards record, and only Lloyd's tasty lead work keeps "Big Hole" from falling into one.
For most of The Radiant Monkey, Lloyd does what he does best: create a rock solid rhythm and then solo like hell. Lyrically deficient but sonically impressive, Lloyd, in spite of his own intentions, still recalls his semi-glorious past.
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