Formerly known as Holland, The Lonely Hearts brought forth their debut EP last summer, available exclusively online and at shows. Southern riffs and back porch, country melodies made the eight song release one of the most refreshing, and exciting listens of 2005. The spring of '06 marks the return of The Lonely Hearts, in the form of their Tooth & Nail, full length debut, Paper Tapes. Containing seven of the eight cuts from the EP, Paper Tapes might seem a bit redundant to diehard fans that have already worn out the former; but the three new tracks are most definitely worth the wait.
For those unfamiliar with their sound, imagine a lot of Holland, mixed with some Bleach, and Ryan Adams' country pickin' southern flare. Country boys and girls will eat this up, while the yankees might have a harder time digesting The Lonely Hearts. However, the sound is so nice, clean, and fresh, it's accessible to just about anyone. It's the kind of "unique" music anyone can pick up, like, and claim as their own.
Though most songs on Paper Tapes are hopeless love anthems, some good spiritual points are made along the way as well. One of the three new tracks, "Weary Eyes," speaks of the healing power of love, "'Cause all you need is love/ To resurrect the little things/ Your weary eyes have lost/ Do you want to live?/ And leave your worried behind/ Because all good things just come in time."
But for the most part, things remain light. It's never fluffy, but this record is releasing at the perfect time, with its "roll down the windows and turn up the music" sensibility. You'll find yourself singing the "Honey, honey"'s of "Passive Aggressive" and the drawn out "Ohhh"'s from "Love Comes Quickly."
It's really hard not to like Paper Tapes, and finding something to complain about is just about, if not more difficult. The Holland boys seem to have found their niche in The Lonely Hearts. Who would have known the pop/rock of Holland would be perfected in a southern/folk outfit? The first time I heard "Shine Like Stars" and "I'm Not Backing Down," it wasn't what I was thinking either. Regardless, this is what we're left with, and simply put, it's stunning to behold. You'd be doing yourself a disservice to not check these Lonely Hearts out.- Review date: 3/5/06, written by Josh Taylor
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