Thursday, 28 April 2011

Love Inks - E.S.P.

It may only be a couple of days since our preview of Love Inks' upcoming debut album E.S.P., but the review copy's just dropped into our mailbox and I'm pretty excited about this one, so I thought why wait?

Those of you who visit Popsiculture regularly will no doubt have seen or heard Blackeye by now. It was my first encounter with Love Inks, and the first minute or so of listening to it I was unconvinced. By the end of the song, little more than another minute later, I was ready to hit the loop button.

Each Love Inks song is along those same lines - a slightly odd opening followed by enough repetition to hammer the hook into your brain. Before you know it you're humming along - then singing along - then freestyling your own vocal remix of the lyrics to your favourite track.


High Points

There's plenty to smile about on E.S.P. - choosing just one or two tracks seems difficult in itself. The fifth track, Skeleton Key, is particularly haunting, with instrumentals that would sit well on a movie soundtrack and lilting vocals from lead singer Sherry LeBlanc. Hers, I suspect, is a voice that could carve Love Inks a niche in an otherwise crowded modern-day music industry.

Penultimate track In My Dreams is a rare example of where the music is actually catchier than LeBlanc's vocals. A great guitar motif holds together the end of the song and sets up the final track, Too Late, perfectly. Really though, the whole of E.S.P. is one big high point and ten songs later, I'm still hungry for more from Love Inks.

The Verdict

E.S.P. is a great compromise between the catchiness of Blackeye - the track most people will have heard first - and enough variety to make a full album of music. That means ten tracks of varying weirdness, too - even if you don't like a couple, there's bound to be something here that fits into your way of thinking.

For me, this is the perfect summertime album - it almost feels like all this sunshine we've been having is thanks to Love Inks. Laid back and lazy (in the best possible way), distinctive yet not self-indulgent, E.S.P. is fun and feels strangely inclusive - like a live performance that feels as though you're the only one there.

I'm delighted that I like this album. After hearing Blackeye - which has been one of our most searched-for reviews in recent weeks - I had high hopes for more from Love Inks. It's wonderful to hear a collection of music that lives up to those expectations.

Final Score: 78%


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