Monday, March 29

All You Need Is Love Is All

Artist: Love is All
Album: Two Thousand and Ten Injuries

Comments: Considering how quickly the turnaround from indie superstar to trend has-been can occur, it is nice to have a band one can rely on.

Love is All is such a band. Their third album Two Thousand and Ten Injuries continues a trend of quality and reliability that surpasses any other blog band around.

A quick history: the band emerged with Nine Times That Same Song in 2004, a record that mixed 50s girl-pop with fuzzy art-rock and featured songs almost exclusively about relationships and the like. Their followup A Hundred Things Keep Me Up At Night came out in 08 and while it featured a few more disco numbers, it was essentially the same album.
Two Thousand isn't a big departure, sound wise.

Lead singer Josephine Olausson is still as vocally dexterous as ever, warbling adorably when need be and giving her Swedish accent a harsh punch when the song calls for it (doing the former on "Never Now" and the latter on "Bigger Bolder"). Nicholaus Sparding still anchors the band with his jumpy guitar licks and well-placed backup vocals. Songs still sound like they were recorded in a reverb factory, jumping from mopey sadness to righteously indignant at the drop of a hat. Sure, there aren't as many horn songs this time around (A Hundred Things was horn crazy in the best way), but that only means the guitar gets a bigger slice of the rock-pie.

The untrained ear might be tempted to write off Two Thousand as more of the same. While there are occasional songs that sound like re-treads, by and large this album represents a strengthening of what makes the band great.

The 50s doowop vocals are as strong as ever, making Love is All sound like some kind of bizzaro Beach Boys (especially on "Early Warning" and "Kungen.") The lyrics are tightening up, too. No one does heartbroken like Olausson; her songs have an honesty and simplicity that other bands would be wise to take a que from.

While slightly more rocking than previous efforts, Two Thousand and Ten Injuries is no stadium rock record. Rather, it is a different take on the bedroom album. Good as a heartbreak-balm, an above-average way to spend a night in bed or just something to dance with your special lady / man / whatever to, Love is All's latest proves that they can be counted on to bring quality pop, no matter what.

Key Tracks: Repetition, Less Than Thrilled, Kungen, Never Now

Buy, Steal, Skip: Buy


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