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The Music Lovers' Guide for Young People

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Album Review

After a listen to The Music Lovers' Guide for Young People one thing is certain, the Music Lovers do indeed love music, to be more specific, the golden age of U.K.-based pop music that first bloomed in the mid-'80s with artists like Lloyd Cole & the Commotions, Prefab Sprout, and the Bluebells, and which was later perfected in the late '80s and early '90s by bands such as the Trash Can Sinatras and the Beautiful South. Like them, the Music Lovers are hopelessly heartbroken and romantic, literate almost to a fault, and totally committed to being as sophisticated as possible at all times both lyrically and musically. Indeed, the sound of Guide for Young People is rich and warm; the chiming guitars and restrained drumming that form the foundation are backed by a rotating array of strings, keyboards, and percussion. Above all this float the charming and sophisticated vocals of Matthew Edwards, which are joined by some lovely harmonies and the occasional appearance of Jun Kurihara's earthy vocals and provide a welcome female viewpoint to balance the restrained male angst. Her duet with Matthew Edwards on "I Don't Mind" is one of the high points of this very enjoyable album. Others are the low-key, moody, and dark: "Alan Lake," the rousing "Thank You, Cornelius Cardew," which starts the album off in fine fashion, and the majestic and moving ballad "The Sea and the Sun." As well as being sophisticated and smart, the group also proves to be a tough little rock combo on a couple tracks like the biting "Habit" and the hooky and driving "Plain Boyish." It gives the album an added dimension and appeal — not that there was a lack of appeal to the rest of the tunes. Quite the opposite is true! Like the similarly influenced Young and Sexy and their most recent album Panic When You Find It, the Music Lovers have made a record here that stands with the best sophisticated guitar pop records of the '80s. You could throw Guide for Young People on after say, Two Wheels Good or I've Seen Everything, and not notice much of a drop-off in quality. If you know and love those two records, then you know what high praise that is.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

With a big nod to Serge Gainsbourg and classic romantic pop, the Music Lovers is led by Teddy Edwards (vocals/guitar). Born in Birmingham, England, Edwards moved to San Francisco in 1994 and while working as an MC met bassist Jon Brooder. They added Paul Comaskey on drums, completing the first lineup of the band. Very soon after their first show in New York in 2002 and with a demo in hand, the Music Lovers were signed to Le Grand Magistery, which issued the EP Cheap Songs Tell The Truth in November...
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The Music Lovers' Guide for Young People, The Music Lovers
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