Music

True Love: self-titled

Jason Thompson

True Love

True Love

Label: Cropduster
US Release Date: 2001-03-14
Amazon
iTunes

Well, here's yet another band that sounds like they're ready to have some hits. Will anyone listen? Let's hope so. For True Love definitely has a knack for tight harmonies, plenty of hooks, and 14 short power pop tunes on their brand new debut that should suit just about anyone who has been craving this kind of music. It sounds very radio-friendly, but whether or not the band gets played on the FM remains to be seen.

Comprised of three musicians (the Squirrel on vocals and guitars, Ray Kubian on vocals and drums, and Keith Hartel on vocals and bass), True Love will probably have you waxing nostalgic for such artists as Elvis Costello, Cheap Trick, and a whole lot of other bands that you'll seemingly have on the tip of your tongue but can't quite place. But where lots of other power pop bands like this can be merely derivative of their heroes, True Love makes their tunes every bit as good as those of their idols. This album bears repeated listening. At first, I wasn't sure what to make of it, but then the more I listened, the more I liked.

"Foreign Fiction Books" sounds like Elvis Costello circa Armed Forces with a hint of Mighty Like a Rose thrown in for good measure (think "The Other Side of Summer"). An interesting feat in itself. "Why Did You Change Your Mind?" sounds like it could fit on Cheap Trick's Heaven Tonight, and "Better Living Through Chemistry" brings to mind such bands as Weezer. In a nutshell, it all works. That's mainly thanks to each of the members of the group taking turns singing lead. And each of these guys can hold a nice, tight tune with no problems at all.

The obvious single here seems to be the short and sweet "Hey Man", an ode to the music biz and popularity ("Say a prayer for my demo," goes one line). The bridges break down into a kind of "Is She Really Going Out With Him?" rhythm, and near the end the guitars slip into a nice little flange effect that recalls a bit of the good old Eighties. What more could you want? If "Hey Man" doesn't sucker you in the first time you give this album a listen, then perhaps the harmonies in "Better Living Through Chemistry" and "Wrong" will, if not the melodies in "Why Did You Change Your Mind?" and "Baby's Little System".

The only fault I see with the album is that those catchy melodies and hooks tend to fizzle out around the tenth track, "The Elevator Falls". Had this album stopped right there at 10 songs, then this would have been a perfect album. As it stands, the remaining tracks like "(Get Your) Ass (In Gear)" and "All Lovers Are Doomed" begin to get a little weary on the clever scale when compared to the first two-thirds of the disc. But in reality, it's a minor complaint. The truth is that True Love has what it takes to make great albums and (hopefully) a solid career to last long enough to release the increasingly rare sophomore disc. Let's hope they do, because this one's definitely a winner.


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Music

PM Picks Playlist 1: Rett Madison, Folk Devils + More

The first PopMatters Picks Playlist column features searing Americana from Rett Madison, synthpop from Everything and Everybody, the stunning electropop of Jodie Nicholson, the return of post-punk's Folk Devils, and the glammy pop of Baby FuzZ.

Books

David Lazar's 'Celeste Holm  Syndrome' Appreciates Hollywood's Unsung Character Actors


David Lazar's Celeste Holm Syndrome documents how character actor work is about scene-defining, not scene-stealing.

Music

David Lord Salutes Collaborators With "Cloud Ear" (premiere)

David Lord teams with Jeff Parker (Tortoise) and Chad Taylor (Chicago Underground) for a new collection of sweeping, frequently meditative compositions. The results are jazz for a still-distant future that's still rooted in tradition.

Music

Laraaji Takes a "Quiet Journey" (premiere +interview)

Afro Transcendentalist Laraaji prepares his second album of 2020, the meditative Moon Piano, recorded inside a Brooklyn church. The record is an example of what the artist refers to as "pulling music from the sky".

Music

Blues' Johnny Ray Daniels Sings About "Somewhere to Lay My Head" (premiere)

Johnny Ray Daniels' "Somewhere to Lay My Head" is from new compilation that's a companion to a book detailing the work of artist/musician/folklorist Freeman Vines. Vines chronicles racism and injustice via his work.

Music

The Band of Heathens Find That Life Keeps Getting 'Stranger'

The tracks on the Band of Heathens' Stranger are mostly fun, even when on serious topics, because what other choice is there? We all may have different ideas on how to deal with problems, but we are all in this together.

Music

Landowner's 'Consultant' Is OCD-Post-Punk With Obsessive Precision

Landowner's Consultant has all the energy of a punk-rock record but none of the distorted power chords.

Film

NYFF: 'American Utopia' Sets a Glorious Tone for Our Difficult Times

Spike Lee's crisp concert film of David Byrne's Broadway show, American Utopia, embraces the hopes and anxieties of the present moment.

Music

South Africa's Phelimuncasi Thrill with Their Gqom Beats on '2013-2019'

A new Phelimuncasi anthology from Nyege Nyege Tapes introduces listeners to gqom and the dancefloors of Durban, South Africa.

Music

Wolf Parade's 'Apologies to the Queen Mary' Turns 15

Wolf Parade's debut, Apologies to the Queen Mary, is an indie rock classic. It's a testament to how creative, vital, and exciting the indie rock scene felt in the 2000s.

Film

What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .

Books

Literary Scholar Andrew H. Miller On Solitude As a Common Bond

Andrew H. Miller's On Not Being Someone Else considers how contemplating other possibilities for one's life is a way of creating meaning in the life one leads.

Music

Fransancisco's "This Woman's Work" Cover Is Inspired By Heartache (premiere)

Indie-folk brothers Fransancisco dedicate their take on Kate Bush's "This Woman's Work" to all mothers who have lost a child.

Film

Rodd Rathjen Discusses 'Buoyancy', His Film About Modern Slavery

Rodd Rathjen's directorial feature debut, Buoyancy, seeks to give a voice to the voiceless men and boys who are victims of slavery in Southeast Asia.

Music

Hear the New, Classic Pop of the Parson Red Heads' "Turn Around" (premiere)

The Parson Red Heads' "Turn Around" is a pop tune, but pop as heard through ears more attuned to AM radio's glory days rather than streaming playlists and studio trickery.

Music

Blitzen Trapper on the Afterlife, Schizophrenia, Civil Unrest and Our Place in the Cosmos

Influenced by the Tibetan Book of the Dead, Blitzen Trapper's new album Holy Smokes, Future Jokes plumbs the comedic horror of the human condition.

Music

Chris Smither's "What I Do" Is an Honest Response to Old Questions (premiere + interview)

How does Chris Smither play guitar that way? What impact does New Orleans have on his music? He might not be able to answer those questions directly but he can sure write a song about it.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Fire in the Time of Coronavirus

If we venture out our front door we might inhale both a deadly virus and pinpoint flakes of ash. If we turn back in fear we may no longer have a door behind us.


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.