Monday, December 22, 2008

Lackloves - The Beat and the Time - 2004

The Lackloves' third album is no mindblower, but it's comfortably above-average neo-power pop with the expected jangle pop and British Invasion influences. At times it sounds like the Byrds in a much more power-popping mood, though not as mainstream or AOR-friendly as Byrds-like artists such as Tom Petty. Mike Jarvis' lead vocals have an ingratiatingly tender quality similar to that of Roger McGuinn, though his lyrics are more lightweight than McGuinn's, and Petty's, for that matter. The songs tread kindheartedly on those subjects so dear to many musicians (and listeners) who refuse to outgrow rock & roll's more innocent, feel-good qualities: the thrill of falling in love and the lessons of longing and heartache, mostly. There's a twist to "The Radio's Mine" that might be overlooked, however, so much does it sound on the surface like a celebration of rock & roll radio. On the contrary, it seems like it might actually be a subtle swipe at radio's post-'70s abandonment of power pop lovers like the average Lackloves' fan, with Jarvis lamenting a radio so disfigured he doesn't recognize it anymore and declaring (ironically?), "It's a mighty fine day for taking over air waves." It's mostly love that's on the agenda, however, Jarvis and the band offering not just robust power pop, but also some fair pseudo-Merseybeat on "If Ever I" and "Don't Leave Me Now," while "I Could Be" recalls the mid-'60s Beatles and the Byrds in their more country-rocking moments. -AMG

If you like "The Beat and the Time" get it here!

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