Lone Wolf - The Lovers (It Never Rains Records, 2012) by Kyle for Stupefaction
This is the type of record that I will commonly refer to as sounding very "VH1-esque." Some people may remember that before Behind the Music, Celebreality et al, VH1 used to show music videos that, "targeted a slightly older demographic . . . focusing on the lighter, softer side of popular music." A common block of videos might go something like this: Jan Hammer's "Crockett's Theme" followed by Simply Red's "Holding Back The Years" and then capped off with something along the lines of a live in-studio session with The Indigo Girls doing "Closer To Fine". When I was a kid I used to think that anything and everything on VH1 was, to put it succinctly, like really shitty. Of course when I was twelve all I wanted to listen to was JFA, The Dead Milkmen and maybe a little Metallica here and there. As I've grown older my tastes have matured and I have, in my own way, come to appreciate the more sophisticated nuance offered by the finer things in life such as early VH1 programming (like this for instance). So a little word of warning to all the twelve year old boys out there: you're probably not going to like the new Lone Wolf record, everyone else please keep reading.
A couple of adjectives that might aptly describe The Lovers: sprawling, sophisticated, atmospheric, sparse, orchestral, conceptual and so on and so on. People don't really use the term "adult oriented contemporary" anymore when referring to music, at least not without a healthy dose of irony. In 2012 however people will casually use the phrase "post-rock" without feeling even the slightest bit awkward. Post-rock is what you listen to when the girl that you thought you were going to ask to marry you dumps you, it's what you listen to on the flight to Europe for your first time using real luggage in lieu of some patch covered hiking rucksack. Post-rock is what's playing at the wine bar during happy hour when you think to yourself, "I'm finally doing it right." So call it whatever you want,VH1 or not, but one thing is for sure: this is music for adults.
A couple of analogies that might best illustrate what The Lovers actually sounds like: it sort of sounds like Tears For Fears producing a nick nicely album. What it really sounds like though is a busier version of either of the last two Talk Talk records. On the surface that might sound a little dismissive I realize, however it's meant as a compliment. In fact if Paul Marshall were to make an entire career out of trying to pick up the pieces that Mark Hollis left scattered about he'd still be doing a million times better than most of the bands out there that seem to release a record on the internet about every fifteen minutes. So I say go for it Pauly, you're already on the cover of this record with your shirt off, go ahead and take your pants off too. Get comfortable and let it all hang out, light some incense, get a woodwind section and some tinny sounding muted trumpets. Fuck it, call you're next record The Spirit of Laughing because you know what? Mark Hollis is retired, as in like he isn't going to make anymore records. So no bother worrying amigo, the field advantage is yours. There's no shame in having influences except when you don't pay them the full respect they deserve. So quit fucking about and just make the record that, while I can't speak for everyone, I at least want to hear.
(*Editor's note: No, this album is not available on cassette, but Kyle's column is called Kyle's Cassettes, so we're sticking with it.)
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