SOME TRUTH & A LITTLE MONEY - The Bloody Lovelies (Cheap Lullaby)
"Piano-driven" isn't an adjective that gets thrown around a lot here at The Bar because most of us knuckledraggers find six strings a hell of a lot easier to keep track of than 88 keys. No offense... And let's face it - for the auditorily compromised in the crowd, for whom the use of sign
language in the near future is a distinct possibility, Messrs. Fender, Gibson, and Marshall speak much louder than Messrs. Steinway, Rhodes, Wurlitzer, and Korg.

While it's unclear what The Bloody Lovelies' studio bill looks like for "Some Truth & A Little Money," they certainly got their money's worth because it's one meticulously crafted, arranged, and produced album, all
rough edges sanded down to a fine veneer, not a hair out of place. When something this polished shows up on The Bar's doorstep, it's like a sharp poke in the eye. Is it possible our mail got crossed with Rolling Stone's or is this some kind of cruel trick on yours truly on the part of The Barman?

As clever as The Bloody Lovelies (well, primarily singer Randy Wooten, who wrote most of the album) are at creating pop rock, for the most part this one leaves me cold. It's all too soulless, too corporate, too calculated for my taste. Maybe what's throwing me off is the fact they're so upfront about having one eye on the prize. Don't get me wrong - there's nothing wrong with earning big coin, but touring with classical crossover dink Josh Groban? Gimme a break...

The Bloody Lovelies suck you in with a style that is bright, bouncy, possessed of effortless melodic skill, and seemingly instantly endearing. And there's no denying these guys know their way around their instruments. Album opener "Hologram" sounds like the type of highly polished, bubbly mainstream fare someone like Leo Sayer would off his mother for. From there, however, it all heads south, with each song getting more and more theatrical, grandiosely treated, and faux pommy than the previous, filled with so much fucking piano that by the time it all ends 40-some-odd minutes later, you're screaming for mercy and cursing the days Elton John, Billy Joel, Burt Bacharach, and Liberace were born.

Another in a seemingly endless trail of bands who continue to allow their world to be darkened by the long shadow of The Beatles. God, how I loathe that band. - Clark Paull