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Love Inks - E.S.P.

Warm, retro sounding minimalist pop.

Coming from Austin, Texas, you probably wouldn’t expect Love Inks to make rather warm, retro sounding minimalist pop. But it’s not only Hell,Yes! label boss Marco Rapisarda, who signed them, who has noticed their potential. ‘Blackeye’, track two on their debut album ‘E.S.P.’, has almost been a hit for a very small elite - and features the sounds which are prominent on the entire album: simple guitar tingles, retro beats and Sherry LeBlanc’s charismatic voice.

Even though the ten songs melt together into a homogenous mass, some songs still stand out. ‘Leather Glove’ is balladic, ‘Can’t Be Wrong’ would be the perfect soundtrack to a movie filmed on an old 8mm camera, and ‘Rock On’ features a somewhat (positively) unnerving ‘old school’ beat.

The most outstanding, but sadly also most dissatisfying song is ‘Skeleton Key’. Its intro promises a lot more than the song can deliver, which leaves the listener dissatisfied when the song ends, having moved unbearably slow towards a climax that never happens.

It’s unfortunately also how the entire album ends. Penultimate track ‘In My Dreams’ nearly lulls one to sleep, because as brilliantly this minimalistic pop is done, as samey is it. However, last song ‘Too Late’ is the most minimalistic but also sticks out thanks to LeBlanc’s really lovely voice and Moog sounds that should have been featured more prominently.

The ten songs on ‘E.S.P.’ are minimalism at its best, reduced to the essentials, without any cluttering of sounds. But it also means there’s nothing really exciting or challenging. And minimalistic doesn’t have to mean samey, which the album sadly is at some points.

Tags: Love Inks, Reviews, Album Reviews

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