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Rotten Love

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Album Review

If Interpol had been massive Smiths fans, they probably would have made an album that sounded very much like Rotten Love, the debut album by stylish New York outfit Levy. Overall, Levy are emphatically part of the mid-2000s neo-post-punk scene: the vocals are coolly dispassionate, the guitars are sent through masses of effects pedals, the rhythm section is burnished to a high, disco-tinged gloss. But singer/songwriter James Levy seems to have quite the Morrissey fixation: while he doesn't sound much like his Mancunian idol, Levy seems to have internalized Morrissey's unique phrasing, especially the long-held high notes and, crucially, the sense that Levy sang the entire album while constantly making air quotes with his hands in the vocal booth. The unapologetic insincerity of Levy's vocal style is the only thing that makes the half-baked "romanticism" of the lyrics palatable, but on the album's best songs — "Sunday School" and "Rector Street" in particular — the band's modern updating of mid-'80s U.K. jangle is catchy enough to make up for the defects.

Customer Reviews

mellow, melodic, and completely enjoyable

I really enjoyed this album from Levy..Not overproduced, very melodic, Ten dollars well spent


Formed: 2003 in New York, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

James Levy (guitar/vocals), Matthew Daniel Siskin (guitar), James Broughel (bass), and Mike Jones (drums) create the wistful indie rock stylings of Levy. Hailing from New York City, Levy formed in 2004, and made their name on various stages in East Village bars. Levy's darling, Morrissey-esque sound captured the attention of One Little Indian Records by midsummer of 2005. An appearance at the annual...
Full Bio
Rotten Love, Levy
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Customer Ratings