Romantica - It's Your Weakness That I Want

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Romantica - It's Your Weakness That I Want

This Minnesota band upholds the tradition of earnest, sweet Heartland rock with better-than-average melodic sense, plus effective use of varied instruments (with help from part-time Wilco violinist Jessy Greene). Lead singer and songwriter Ben Kyle, a Minnesotan-by-way-of-Ireland, opens up his Americana with some of the wistful tinge of classic Irish rock. Like such apparent inspirations as Elvis Costello and Ryan Adams, he’s got a talent for analyzing relationships (“Oscar Wilde” is both clever and gorgeous), though his attempts at Costello’s sincerity-within-jaundice sit somewhat awkwardly. When he sings about politics and God—as he does on “Hold On,” “Belfast” and “Vacant Light,” among others—he can come off as banal as Lenny Kravitz and as dead-on as Vigilantes of Love, an unevenness that portends better things.

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