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Thursday, 1 April 2010

Love Is All - Two Thousand And Ten Inuries (album review)

Polyvinyl
23/03/10

8/10

Love Is All's last album, 2008's 'A Hundred Things Keep Me Up At Night', managed to get released under very little fanfare. Shocking, seeing as their debut album was 'Nine Times That Same Song'; one of the best indiepop records of the past decade. With any luck album number three, entitled 'Two Thousand And Ten Injuries', should rectify the Swede's diminished profile and show them to be the best kept secret that they are.

Less cluttered and frantic than the material the band are currently best known for, 'Two Thousand And Ten Injuries' focuses on perfectly formed love songs wrapped in a fuzzy pretty wrapper. The production values are certainly low-fi and delightfully it suits the group. Listened to on a stereo it's warm and enveloping music that, with intersecting upbeat tracks keeps the listener involved and creates the urge to maybe get up and shuffle around the room a little. When put on headphones however the songs themselves shine. With Josephine Olausson's vocals being low in the mix, it takes the eardrum to speaker proximity for her lyrics to really speak.

Love songs may be old hat for those that would rather the band be attempting to reinvent the sonic or structural wheel of pop music but Love Is All put themselves forward as Exhibit A in preserving this artform. Don't worry, it's not the soppy side of love, but the side that comes out when you find that your partner isn't what you expected, the side that's present at that moment where you realise that everything's gone wrong. See 'False Pretense' for the best example of this.

There's many a great moment on this album however. Be it the opening pair of 'Bigger Bolder' and 'Repetition', where the former struts into view with a Strokesian shuffle and the latter melds Monochrome Set fuzzy clattering to a European jangle. That's not to say that Love Is All are derivative of these bands, you understand. They sound most like Love Is All, but even then, have moved their sound on. Aside from being less clattering, the saxophone is employed more judiciously than on previous albums. In no longer present being in every cacophony, the impact from its occasional blasts are heightened, creating a new dimension to their music.

If indiepop is your thing, then you'll probably be intending to pick up the new Love Is All record anyway. You really should do, as anyone with even a passing interest in the genre will get something from 'Two Thousand And Ten Injuries' best song. The timeless 'The Birds Were Singing With All Of Their Might' has a beautiful melody and with a danceable clatter of a drum beat puts itself forward as being one of the best songs of 2010 thus far.

With this triumphant album Love Is All are without a doubt the best kept secret in indiepop. It's a pity as they should be considered as strong a contender as any of the bigger hitters.

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