Leaves’ Eyes – Lovelorn

20/05/2004 § Leave a comment

CD Info
2004
Napalm Records
10 Tracks
English lyrics

Something has definitely gone right since a few years ago when, after the Gothic and vampyric supernova that was Aegis, Liv Kristine’s previous band, Theatre of Tragedy, out of some moment of madness lost their creative blueprint for making top-rung BnB music and decided to jack it all in in favour of sickeningly saccharine guitar-driven synth pop. Fortunately, since her departure from TOT and the formation of her new band, Leaves’ Eyes, the temptation to continue in this way hasn’t proved particularly alluring and Liv has gone back to making the sort of music that suits her voice best, and that is driving, satisfying BnB elevated by her distinctive tones.

Lovelorn is, on the surface, an intrinsically pleasing piece of work, however, it’s hard to look at it on anything but a surface level. There’s nothing too deep about it, it just seems like the sort of stuff that quite a few musicians would whip out as their side project. And what do you know; it is, apart from Liv, since this is her main musical baby at the moment. As good as it is to listen to, it’s hardly the kind of stuff that grabs you by the throat and pins you to your seat under duress, mercilessly demanding that you take notice of it, it’s more like a B-movie among metal, an entrée, an appetizer, a measly portion for those that can’t take anything a lot richer. The standard 4/4 beats and smooth, velvety guitar distortion bounce along at an acceptably friendly pace and grin at you like some kind of sickeningly cheery cartoon character. It’s so acceptable and user-friendly you could take it home to meet your parents. You could pay it to a Christian youth group and they’d love it just as much as the Maranatha Singers.

As a result it’s quite difficult to pick anything particularly remarkable out of this uniform dollop of metal since it has very little to say for itself. Nevertheless, in spite of this there is some good music here. Norwegian Lovesong, Ocean’s Way, Secret and Into Your Light are all very enjoyable and almost commercial Gothicy numbers that sit in your ears and hum for a few guiltily enjoyable minutes. The one thing that did strike me about this is how much I had missed Liv’s voice against the heaviness of such guitars, her sultry, sensual tones are really something to be reckoned with and it’s a pleasure to have her back. The song-writing isn’t bad either, all the music is quite pleasurable, even though a bit banal in places.

Lovelorn is hardly an album that pushes the boundaries or tries to reach out to somewhere new. Its function is to give you shiny Gothic pleasantries, little trinkets of wonderment that will interest you for a while, but it won’t be long before you put them down and go off to find something else more interesting. It’s hard to forge a full-on relationship with such music. This would be something that you would take away for a dirty weekend, a little knockabout that would keep you up for a few nights rather than something you would connect with on a deeper level for a lot longer. As ear candy it fulfils its job beautifully, but there’s nothing particularly wholesome or nourishing here.

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