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Amy Gore and Her Valentines

In Love

(Space Lion; US: 13 Oct 2012; UK: 13 Oct 2012)

Pop-rock by the numbers

Amy Gore and Her Valentines make the sort of guitar-based pop-rock that is as inoffensive as it is instantly forgettable. Following the classic four-piece template of guitars, bass and drums, Gore sings about cars and relationships in such songs “Drivin’ Around” and “Cadillac”, relationships gone south in “Static” and “I’m Addicted”, and a relationship that might be okay, if a little weird, in “Baby in Your Arms”. All these songs contain jangly guitars, competent musicianship, and Gore’s fine but hardly outstanding vocals. They’re the sort of band that probably tear it up down at the roadhouse on nights when the local Bon Jovi cover band isn’t playing. What’s really frustrating, though, is that last song on this album, “Send Me a Postcard”, is a stone-cold classic, a crunching rocker built around kickass guitars and Gore’s plaintive keening. Clearly they saved the best for last, but man, if they could do this once, why not a few more times?

Rating:

DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


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