Saturday, March 28, 2009

Four Hours Sleep - Love Specifics - 2006


With a large supporting cast around them, Four Hours Sleep make some very lovely, mid-tempo and smart adult contemporary pop. This is evident on the refined and glistening "I Know I Shouldn't (But I Can't Help Myself)" that glides along like a great lush track by the Beautiful South or a tamer version of Pulp. From there the band gets the party started with a catchy, hook-riddled "I Love That Woman" that brings to mind Fountains of Wayne, Teenage Fanclub or a sullen Guided by Voices. Here the song finds its groove and the band rides it for all it's worth. However, the album's biggest asset might be how often the group changes gears, with "Who Ya Gonna Love?" being a tender ballad that resembles a duet between Bono and Ryan Adams. Just as fine is the ambling "Goodbye Song" that features Angie Hart and could be mistaken for a fantastic cover of something performed by Be Good Tanyas or the Waifs. This feeling continues on the soft, roots pop that makes "Original Lover" another well-crafted effort. Here Ollie Olsen's raspy, deep delivery makes one envision what Nick Cave might do to this warm ditty. The first true miscue is "Very Strange, Very Cool," a somewhat seedy, bluesy and raunchy track that veers off into a dreamy chorus with mixed results at best. A better effort on this vibe is has Paul Kelly leading the way on the deliberate, funk-tinged "If I Had My Way."-AMG

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