The Love Language: Libraries
Lo-fi quintet gets more ambitious but still wants to cuddle
The second album from North Carolina’s The Love Language takes all of 25 seconds to get going, and it seems portentous. You might even catch yourself thinking, “Oh no, this lo-fi pop band has gone mega.” Indeed, lead Lover Stuart McLamb has made a tremendous leap in terms of accessibility, scope and arrangement on Libraries: His gift for soaring tunes no longer pushes against scrappy guitar (as on the glorious “Sparxxx,” from the band’s 2009 debut) but rather it expands outward into Arcade Fiery terrain on “Pedals” and GarageBand Springsteen with “Brittany’s Back.” McLamb makes records you can swoon to, and “This Blood Is Our Own” aims right at that effect, from his throaty, full-on vocals (which ascend precariously high without sounding precarious) to the piercing violins. If you find the drama a little much, McLamb devotes most of the album to cuddly guitar pop with occasional bells—which, as it turns out, is better to swoon to, anyway.