One of the reasons why Hello Love is so much more positive is that it feels as though the band have cast off expectations entirely, and decided to focus on writing new songs that follow their compositional instincts, as well as picking two covers (amongst others) which reflect their own highbrow / playful tastes and a determination to break genre walls at the same time as flaunting their righteous cultural relativism. Hello Loveis perhaps best viewed as the album The Be Good Tanyas just made because they could- it feels like a rediscovery of their love for what they do, and a melding of their shiny pop instincts with their dark heart. How many buckets of vinyl it will sell is anyone's guess, but in so many ways, it feels like a worthy successor to On The Beach in a way that so few artists have ever approached.
When the Be Good Tanyas released their heralded debut disc, Blue Horse
, in 2000, much of the magic came from the discovery of a talented new group whose whole was stronger than the sum of its parts--especially in the unique harmonies and mature songwriting skills. When it comes to their third disc, Hello Love
, the subtle delights are all there, from the goose-bump creating vocals of co-frontwoman Frazey Ford on the title track, to the trio's bluegrass-laden instrumentation ("Little Blues" "Crow Waltz"), which provides listeners with an invitation to a Be Goods back porch jam. As is the band's way, there is an abundance of compelling cover tunes, from a Tanya-esque take on Neil Young's "For the Turnstiles" to a revisit of the underappreciated Sean Hayes's "Thousand Tiny Pieces." The originals, however, stand up equally well; highlights include "Ootischenia" and "Song for R." While the trio hasn't managed to outshine their spectacular debut, Hello Love
is a CD filled with cross-generational charm and musical riches. --Denise Sheppard