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The Love Language

The Love Language

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Album Review

Is lo-fi indie pop dead? Perish the thought! As long as guys like Stuart McLamb have a song in their heart and a cheap recording setup in their bedroom, homemade pop epics will be embraced by folks wearing carefully chosen thrift-store sweaters all over the world, and McLamb's project the Love Language is the latest example of this long and noble tradition. While the Love Language exists as a six-piece band that's taken this music on the road, their first album is a one-man-band effort, with McLamb writing all the songs, playing all the instruments and handling the engineering and mixing all by himself. In an era where digital technology has put quality recording in the hands of even the most humble amateur, McLamb's dedication to low fidelity (especially in the distorted, overdriven vocals) seems like a sincere if possibly misguided homage to the Golden Era of four-track cassette machines, but thankfully he's a better musician than most of the characters who have blazed these trails, and he's a gifted, engaging songwriter. The sweet, lovesick opener "Two Rabbits," the country-flavored love proclamation "Stars," the Spector-on-a-budget spectacle of "Nocturne," the waltz-time sway of "Manteo," and the near-Merseybeat pop of "Sparxxx" show McLamb has an impressive number of tricks up his sleeve, and if his skills as an engineer leave a bit to be desired, as a writer and arranger he's already a force to be reckoned with. The Love Language could be the first of a long series of charming lo-fi efforts from Stuart McLamb, or a demo for some grand-scale studio project in his future; either way, it's a short (29 minutes), sweet serving of indie pop from someone who is clearly a talent to watch, even if he's still getting the kinks out of his working process.

Biography

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

North Carolina-based lo-fi indie rock outfit Love Language were formed in Raleigh by singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Stuart McLamb after a series of false starts, hard times, and general malcontent that found the newly reformed artist ready to embrace a healthier, less destructive lifestyle. Recorded, written, and produced in a storage space by McLamb alone on an old four-track, Love Language's heady blend of Guided by Voices-infused indie pop and nightmarish, Phil Spector-meets-Animal Collective-style...
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The Love Language, The Love Language
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