Love and Rockets

Sweet F.A.

Many Love and Rockets fans who were disillusioned by last year's experimental (though still meritable) "Hot Trip to Heaven" are now running back to the fold as these post-goth lads return to nourish and cultivate roots planted during the past decade. This latest album will appeal to a wide array of listeners, if only owing to its pot-pourri of styles. "Sweet Lover Hangover" is a catchy radio-friendly single, yet maintains an integrity, nevertheless. Songs like "Sweet F.A." and "Sad And Beautiful World" could have come from Love and Rockets' first album, while stylistic comparisons to the Jesus and Mary Chain ("Judgment Day") or the Beatles are undeniable. Nevertheless, translated through the ever-seductive artistry of Daniel Ash, David J and Kevin Haskins, with production mainly by John Fryer, the songs emerge fresh and appealing, with a distinct signature upon them, and nary a dull moment. In fact, each song occupies a different point on the mood spectrum, ranging from acoustic and mellow to feedbacky and driven, or from delicate and lovely to sordid and narcotized. By the end of the album, though, there prevails a sense of social isolation. Electronic sounds and distortive vocal devices have replaced the easy-going simplicity of the first song, and leave listeners in a disturbed lull. But perhaps realizing the heaviness of such technique, they end the production with a snatch of the first and title song.

Sweet F.A. is an album that will invigorate long-time Love and Rockets fans as it combusts into recognizable grooves and enhances them. This is certainly the most musically unfettered and developed of all their works, and should prove to be sensational performed live.

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