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Free & Easy

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Album Review

Windblown Kiss was a lovely way for Lovespirals to make a clear move away from the days of Love Spirals Downwards, but Free & Easy is the best evidence that the duo of Ryan Lum and Anji Bee is now distinctly its own creative team. With Lum's guitar playing and arranging now focused on, indeed, free and easy jazz/lounge grooves, Lovespirals here are much more in the creative vein of an act like the Thievery Corporation instead of the Cocteau Twins, say, without specifically cloning either group's sound. Bee's singing is a perfect counterpoint, a blend of classic mid-century jazz-pop flow and a bit of '60s cool in a French or Brazilian sense — some low-key scatting here, some warm, playful crooning there. The gently hip-shaking title track kicks things off and sets the mood all at once, and from there Lovespirals work through a total of nine songs, all of a piece but each with its own gentle joys. Lum's interest in DJing and techno can readily be heard throughout, more overtly on songs like "Deep in My Soul," which quickly builds into a politely propulsive dancefloor filler, and "Just Trouble" but in subtler ways as well, as listens to "Hand in Hand" confirm. But the overall tone of the album is best captured with songs like "Walk Away," a slow and lovely late-night mood-out with some great keyboard work from Lum to go with his guitar, and "Abide," with its sassy but gentle strut. Concluding song "Sandcastles" might actually be the strongest of the bunch, easygoing and danceable all at once, concluding with a lovely overdubbed a cappella chorus from Bee.


Formed: Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Lovespirals emerged in 1999 as a cooperative project between Ryan Lum (guitars, bass), the leading creative force behind Love Spirals Downwards, and singer/songwriter Anji Bee, also in charge of the percussion and programming sections. Lovespirals appeared as a follow-up venture of Lum after parting ways with vocalist Suzanne Perry, Love Spirals Downwards' former vocalist. The duo's mission pursued a continuation of Lum's first enterprise, concentrating on creating a set of compositions profiled...
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Free & Easy, Lovespirals
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