The Love Language
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The Love Language
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The Love Language sounds like the Arcade Fire drank several bottles of bourbon and recorded an album on a 4-track machine. This lo-fi pop brilliance is surely one of the great records of 2009. The band's eight-piece lineup delivers fierce shows featuring great arrangements and tons of youthful energy. The songs lean heavy on '50s pop forms à la Ricky Nelson, and Stu McLamb is one of the best vocalists of his generation. The first single, Lalita, is an undeniable charge, and the follow-up single, Sparxxx, is Southern goth jangle at its finest.
Top customer reviews
They are not as vocal driven as The Cold War Kids, though, which is great. The lead singer is often accompanied by others in a ghostly chorus, the thick fat of the vocals resting atop a simmering stew of guitars, pianos, drums, tambourine, a humming bass, at times all mashed up together to the point it'd be almost impossible to pick out a single instrument to focus on any more than a moment.
So I enjoyed the album and I definitely recommend it. My only criticism of the album is its terrible production. The band was good enough to pull off a great album, however, even with the cringing distortion during some of the shouted vocals and barely being able to hear the drums or guitars some of the time over the tambourine. Maybe that was their intention, which I hope wasn't.
I can see this band having an awesome second album, with hopefully a better level of production. All the other pieces are already there.
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"The Love Language" (9 tracks; 29 min.) is, after seeing the band live, simply a perplexing album. The opening track "Two Rabbits" is a slow, pensive track, huh? It is followed by "Lalita", one of those uptempo, high energy tracks I saw the band perform this past weekend, and really the ONLY track like that on here. But then it's off again to "Stars", another slow song, and alas really many more tracks like that would follow, such as "Sparkxxx", "Night Dogs", "Providence", and "Graycourt".
I tend to buy a band's CD after seeing them live if I enjoy them. To be honest, it's been a LONG time since I've had such a disconnect between the band's live set and their album. The Love Language was a pleasant surprise for me when I saw them this past weekend, but it doesn't resonate on this album. Buyer beware.