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Album Review
Out of Love

Out of Love
by Mister Heavenly

Sub Pop

Review Date
6th October 2011
Reviewed by
Brannavan Gnanalingam

It would be too simple to say that Out of Love is a collection of back-to-basics good ole’ rock n roll songs. Anything that features the collective might of Nick Thorburn (he of Unicorns and Islands fame), Ryan Kattner (Man Man) and Joe Plummer (Modest Mouse and the Shins) has the potential either to fall flat or to capture some of the bands’ pop genius. It be hard not to have expectations given Thorburn in particular, has helped make some of the most underrated and best pop moments of the last decade. The band-members get to have a bit of fun on this release – the genre of the album has been coined “doom-wop”. It’s reasonably fitting, with the album’s heavyish guitars, pop melodies, and charming harmonies. And while the critical reception to the project hasn’t been particularly glowing thus far, one can only hope that this hasn’t written off what is an ultimately charming and thoroughly enjoyable album.

The album is big, brash and fun (though with more than a hint of darkness throughout) – which no doubt would translate the songs well live. It’s for the most part a pretty standard set-up, the usual suspects for instruments, and catchy (and what ought to be radio-friendly) pop songs. The album starts off much heavier than the rest of the album with ‘Bronx Sniper’. Maybe it was an attempt to highlight the doom part first off. ‘I am a Hologram’, ‘Charlene’, and ‘Mister Heavenly’ form a very catchy and excellent early run. The sinister ‘Harm You’ twists with tension and dark lyrics. ‘Reggae Pie’ is a little too meandering, but given the bandmembers’ various influences and previous sounds, it wasn’t so surprising as a detour.

The second half is similarly strong, though a little samey at points. ‘Pineapple Girl’ and ‘Hold My Hand’ are further implantable pop. ‘Doom Wop’ is a little forgettable, but the album finishes strongly with ‘Your Girl’ and ‘Wise Man’. It’s a tight and satisfying collection of songs. This isn’t pop that reinvents the wheel. It’s pop that pays the right amount of homage to the musical influences that underpin the doom-wop concept, it’s smart, and ultimately, it’s very good.


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