PopMatters is moving to WordPress in December. We will continue to publish on this site as we work on the move. We aim to make it a seamless experience for readers.

Music

Locksley: Be in Love

Locksley make a joyful noise, but it's one we've heard before.


Locksley

Be in Love

Label: Feature
US Release Date: 2010-01-26
UK Release Date: Import
Amazon
iTunes

Locksley probably kick ass live. The drums tumble and crash, keeping things moving at a respectable clip even on the less loud or urgent material. The guitars have some bite to them, tough enough to provide a little grit, but not so grimy as to lose the sweetness of that Beatles-y augmented chord on the turnaround. The vocals are bellowed with passion but stay on pitch, while backup singers "ooh" in all the right places.

Here's the thing, though. Reread the paragraph above, and think about it for a moment. You'll come away with more or less the same experience as having actually listened to the album. Even if there isn't another band out there that sounds exactly like Locksley, they're working with such familiar components that they can't help but feel generic. Without some distinctive element to their sound -- more specific lyrics, stronger melodies, something, anything -- Be in Love leaves the listener with only the feeling of having heard rock 'n' roll, rather than bestowing any lasting impressions.

That's why Locksley seems particularly suited to live performance. As the music is happening, it's fun, and when it's over, it's over. But on record, after the last song fades, you're just left with an album you can barely remember, rather than the actual experience of seeing a rock 'n' roll band in a club. This album's pleasures are so ephemeral and fleeting that, if it were any less buoyant or accessible, I'd be tempted to declare it some kind of meta commentary on impermanence.

Some songs emerge with repeated listens. Single "Darling, It's True" has a skipping beat and a chorus hook memorable and indelible enough to make it worthwhile. The two songs written by lead guitarist Kai Kennedy ("Days of Youth" and "Away from Here") have enough interesting production touches and chord voicings to make them stand out from the other tunes, even if they're not substantially different at their core. "The Whip" is a bit more repetitive than the rest of the record, and the "woah"-based chorus less inspired, but it's hardly unendurable. The truth is, though, that if you like any of these songs, you'll probably like all of them.

An album like Be in Love poses an interesting journalistic challenge: how do you grade music that's barely even there? You, dear reader, would do well to treat the rating below as a general guideline. If you're after an immersive musical experience, rich with layers of sonic detail and meticulous, poetic lyrics -- if you're the sort who'd actually want a metamusical concept album about transience -- you might want to drop that down a number. If, on the other hand, you're looking for two to three minutes of crashing guitars and ear-grabbing hooks at a time, feel free to add a point or two.

The tragedy of Locksley is that, as a somewhat obscure guitar-based indie band, the people most likely to find them are the people least likely to actually like them. A song like "Darling, It's True" will come blasting out of an iPod set to shuffle like a goddamned rocket ship, but it does not reward close academic scrutiny. It'll make vacuuming fun, but it won't go down in history as a classic. It's up to you to decide which you'd rather have.

5

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology provider that we have until December to move off their service. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to fund the move and further development.


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Books

'A Peculiar Indifference' Takes on Violence in Black America

Pulitzer Prize finalist Elliott Currie's scrupulous investigation of the impacts of violence on Black Americans, A Peculiar Indifference, shows the damaging effect of widespread suffering and identifies an achievable solution.

Music

20 Songs From the 1990s That Time Forgot

Rather than listening to Spotify's latest playlist, give the tunes from this reminiscence of lost '90s singles a spin.

Film

Delightful 'Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day' Is Good Escapism

Now streaming on Amazon Prime, Bharat Nalluri's 2008 romantic comedy, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, provides pleasant respite in these times of doom and gloom.

Film

The 10 Best Horror Movie Remakes

The horror genre has produced some remake junk. In the case of these ten treats, the update delivers something definitive.

Television

Flirting with Demons at Home, or, When TV Movies Were Evil

Just in time for Halloween, a new Blu-ray from Kino Lorber presents sparkling 2K digital restorations of TV movies that have been missing for decades: Fear No Evil (1969) and its sequel, Ritual of Evil (1970).

Music

Magick Mountain Are Having a Party But Is the Audience Invited?

Garage rockers Magick Mountain debut with Weird Feelings, an album big on fuzz but light on hooks.

Music

Aalok Bala Revels in Nature and Contradiction on EP 'Sacred Mirror'

Electronic musician Aalok Bala knows the night is not a simple mirror, "silver and exact"; it phases and echoes back, alive, sacred.

Music

Clipping Take a Stab at Horrorcore with the Fiery 'Visions of Bodies Being Burned'

Clipping's latest album, Visions of Bodies Being Burned, is a terrifying, razor-sharp sequel to their previous ode to the horror film genre.

Music

Call Super's New LP Is a Digital Biosphere of Insectoid and Otherworldly Sounds

Call Super's Every Mouth Teeth Missing is like its own digital biosphere, rife with the sounds of the forest and the sounds of the studio alike.

Music

Laura Veirs Talks to Herself on 'My Echo'

The thematic connections between these 10 Laura Veirs songs and our current situation are somewhat coincidental, or maybe just the result of kismet or karmic or something in the zeitgeist.

Film

15 Classic Horror Films That Just Won't Die

Those lucky enough to be warped by these 15 classic horror films, now available on Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection and Kino Lorber, never got over them.

Music

Every Song on the Phoenix Foundation's 'Friend Ship' Is a Stand-Out

Friend Ship is the Phoenix Foundation's most personal work and also their most engaging since their 2010 classic, Buffalo.

Music

Kevin Morby Gets Back to Basics on 'Sundowner'

On Sundowner, Kevin Morby sings of valleys, broken stars, pale nights, and the midwestern American sun. Most of the time, he's alone with his guitar and a haunting mellotron.

Music

Lydia Loveless Creates Her Most Personal Album with 'Daughter'

Given the turmoil of the era, you might expect Lydia Loveless to lean into the anger, amplifying the electric guitar side of her cowpunk. Instead, she created a personal record with a full range of moods, still full of her typical wit.

Music

Flowers for Hermes: An Interview with Performing Activist André De Shields

From creating the title role in The Wiz to winning an Emmy for Ain't Misbehavin', André De Shields reflects on his roles in more than four decades of iconic musicals, including the GRAMMY and Tony Award-winning Hadestown.

Film

The 13 Greatest Horror Directors of All Time

In honor of Halloween, here are 13 fascinating fright mavens who've made scary movies that much more meaningful.

Music

British Jazz and Soul Artists Interpret the Classics on '​Blue Note Re:imagined'

Blue Note Re:imagined provides an entrance for new audiences to hear what's going on in British jazz today as well as to go back to the past and enjoy old glories.

Film

Bill Murray and Rashida Jones Add Another Shot to 'On the Rocks'

Sofia Coppola's domestic malaise comedy On the Rocks doesn't drown in its sorrows -- it simply pours another round, to which we raise our glass.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.