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The Heat Can Melt Your Brain

Viva Voce

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Album Review

Viva Voce is the husband-and-wife duo of Anita and Kevin Robinson. They are purveyors of a pleasant and sweet indie rock sound located somewhere on the harder side of Papas Fritas and the less experimental side of Elephant 6. Released in 2004, The Heat Can Melt Your Brain is their third album and it is their best so far. The songs are lively and memorable. "Alive With Pleasure" kicks things off with a peppy jangle, Anita's sweet vocals meshing nicely with the crunchy guitar lines. But apart from "Business Casual," a spooky blend of '80s post-punk and '90s neo-psych, and "High Highs," a less than successful though admirable foray into trip-hop soul, Viva Voce never stray too far from the sound of the opening track. Still, that's OK because they do it well. The duo has a fine grasp of dynamics and layers the sound with all sorts of sonic candy. Most of all, they have some killer songs. "The Lucky Ones" is like the best song the Blake Babies never recorded, "Daylight" and "Lesson No. 1" have great hooks, "Mixtape = Love" is lyrically cute and musically beautiful. There are no weak tracks apart from the failed experiment of "High Highs," and while you may not find yourself listening to the record every day, when you pull it out a month from now, it will still sound good. There is still a place for solid, sweet, and imaginative indie rock like The Heat Can Melt Your Brain in the mid-2000s, and Viva Voce are right smack in the middle of the top tier.

Biography

Formed: 1998 in Muscle Shoals, AL

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Kevin Robinson (drums) and Anita Robinson (vocals/guitars) formed the indie rock outfit Viva Voce in their native Muscle Shoals, Alabama, in 1998. Viva Voce (pronounced VEE-vah-VOH-chay) is the Italian definition for "by word of mouth." Hooray for Now marked the husband-and-wife duo's first album before the year's end. Headlining club dates and performing support gigs for Sunny Day Real Estate followed into 1999. As they developed their guitar-driven indie pop, Viva Voce left their Southern abode...
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The Heat Can Melt Your Brain, Viva Voce
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