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Album Review: The Loves - Three

  • Written by  Peter Harris

The Loves' Three is not an album or a CD. It is a record.

The difference in this naming convention is all about how certain words are more evocative than others. When the kids of the '60s and '70s used to pop to their local music emporium of choice, they were after the latest record. This was a time of sunshine, flowery shirts and most importantly, free love. It's no great surprise to learn that The Loves are all about, well, love. This record oozes love, optimism and (eugh) fun and musically it's jangly, full of playful organs (careful now) and wholesomely, sickeningly (eugh) nice.

Opening track 'One-Two-Three' is a precise melding: one-part Kinks to two-parts Beatles. It's pleasant and harmless (two adjectives that keep coming to mind) but it's been done before so many times that this homage comes across as totally tiresome and not a great way to open an album. We understand that there is plenty of room in this world for smiley pop and we can't all listen to challenging, multi-layered music all day but it's reasonable to expect just a little bit of depth and originality. Will the lyrics "I love you/You love me/We'll be together, one-two-three" elicit any kind of emotional response from a listener other than "meh"? Doubtful.

'Kaleidoscope (In My Head)' is much better. It starts promisingly with a kind of skipping rope chant intro merging into some swirly organ. The Sandie Shaw-alike singing kicks in and once again we're back in extremely familiar territory. The track evolves several times though, through a McCartney-esque sequence into a toe tapping singalong section, ending with a great bass line (which sounds more than a little like the theme to a certain BBC favourite time traveller) and a gurgling keyboard accompaniment.

Much of the rest of Three goes through the full repertoire of '60s music clichs: clapalongs, lyrics about everyone having a good time and being in love - and even Sgt Pepper makes an appearance in closer 'Waiting for Tomorrow'.

Whether you'd like this album or not depends on what you're looking for in music and maybe even in life. If you're after harmless, pleasant, sunshine fun, there are probably better alternatives than The Loves out there but you may very well find something to enjoy here. If you're searching for a challenge, something interesting, exciting, in depth and thrilling, well, I think you know where not to look.

It feels harsh to criticise this album too much. Production is excellent, everything is played extremely well and sounds good and this is a band that are striving for a certain sound which they've definitely hit. Maybe if they set their bar a little higher, we could all enjoy spreading the love.

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