November 09, 2005

True Love "Wings"

Power-pop critics tend to believe that the genre has been sullied by older musicians who want to recapture their youth and romanticize more innocent days, and they do this by making music that emulates (often quite poorly) the music of Big Star, The Beatles and Badfinger. Fundamentally, there's nothing wrong with doing that, but many of the bands who do inevitably fall flat, because they choose not to think contemporarily. After all, why listen to a piss-poor imitation of Straight Up when you can listen to the real thing?

Thankfully, New Jersey trio True Love (not to be confused with trio True Love Always) never commits such heinous musical crimes. Considering that guitarist and singer Tom Beaujour is editor of hard rock magazine Revolver, one might expect True Love to have a harder edge--and guess what? They do! This little group puts the "power" back into power-pop, and damn, it sounds good. Combining the pop bite of Elvis Costello, the rock edge of The Cars and the melodic bent of Weezer, Wings is a record that simply rocks. Period. Occasionally, the guitars have a bit of a metallic edge, such as on "How Does it Feel?", and though there's a hard-rock vibe throughout, but for the most part, Wings is pure ear candy. "Forever and Ever" and "Worse Ways Than This" sound like outtakes from This Year's Model, while "Center of the Cyclone" and "Asleep at the Wheel" could make Rivers Cuomo jealous. Throw in some really killer harmonies, an occasional ballad and an all-around positive attitude, and you've got a winning record. (The only thing that's terrible about Wings is the horridly disgusting cover art.)

Wings is a great little record, and it's sure to get you up and moving in the morning. While they haven't made a record that's particularly innovative, True Love's made a record that's fun and enjoyable and, most importantly, a great listen. (Believe me, after a weekend of listening to mediocre music, such a simple concept is a lot more innovative than you might imagine.)

--Joseph Kyle

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