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Richard Lloyd and the Bright Side of 'Amnesia'

Former Television guitarist and star sideman Richard Lloyd has made his truest solo record in The Radiant Monkey, at least conceptually: He plays everything but drums. But for a one-man operation, Lloyd outshines many working bands with the loose, warm quality of his arrangements, and his workmanlike but expressive vocals have taken huge strides toward communicating the emotion and fire of his guitar. Which, as "Amnesia" illustrates, remains stunning.

Even before the first verse, Lloyd's precise picking leads into an up-and-down run whose exuberance feels like a sonic interpretation of one of those carnival bungee rides: It leaves listeners feeling wobbly, but exhilarated.

"Amnesia" wryly points out the bright side of memory loss: The good memories may be gone, but so are all the missteps, foul-ups, and hangovers. Lloyd sure tries to sell it: During the bridge, he sings, "Amnesia, you are my best friend / Without you, I might remember the awful shape I'm in." The guitar break, however, belies that sentiment in a short, chuckling solo that shakes its head at the nonsense preceding it.

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'

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Cecile Cloutier