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002houston August 10:002houston 7/21/10 3:11 PM Page 83

cd reviews By Lance Scott Walker

A FEW NEW AMBIENT RELEASES TO SHARE WITH YOU THIS MONTH. OPEN UP:

THE LOVE LANGUAGE Libraries (Merge) This is a big ass record. The drums are big and boomy, the guitars ring like they’ve been tuned through their amps to fill a ballroom, and the whole thing shimmers with a nice taste of Phil Spector (excepting a stereo mix). North Carolina native Stuart McLamb’s songs go back to the balladry of the ’50s and ’60s, but his voice wears the ’00s all over it, and in a way that cripples the songwriting to the point of missing the point. That delicate balance...

LoveLikeFire Tear Ourselves Away (Heist or Hit) Wait, this record is huge, too! But in a totally different way. LoveLikeFire actually released this last year in the UK, and that’s fitting; it subscribes directly to the shoegaze/Britpop aesthetic, all the while distancing from those genres by actually having the vocals up in the mix. And that works, as they’re a little too uppity (the inherent American element) to have the vocals buried, and Anne Yu’s voice works better when heard clearly than it would were it laundered away. Musically, they offer little in the way of dynamics, but it’s something that complements the vocals handily. Maybe one would draw a comparison to The Raveonettes. Actually, one could draw many comparisons. Nothing jumps out in its own way on the first few listens. The exception? “Stand In Your Shoes,” on which the vocal melody and guitars feel so effortless that they pull the song along in a way that gives you hope in this day and age of over-saturation.

TENNIS “South Carolina” b/w “Sea Farer” (Fire Talk) For all that talk above about bands ripping off aged genres and coopting them without any soul, there comes this limited edition 7” etched out of pure Denver honey. Tennis is a duo from Colorado who happen to be married and who have come from out of nowhere with a growing catalog of (again) Spectoresque pop gems – only they get the vocals, the production and (most of all) the heart right. “South Carolina” just may be the jam of the summer for those who don’t listen to the radio.

august 10 | www.002mag.com .83

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