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Year End 2008 - Best of 2008Love Is All

A Hundred Things Keep Me Up at Night

What’s Your Rupture?

Nov 01, 2008 Love Is All Bookmark and Share

In one form or another, nearly the entire history of rock ’n’ roll has been devoted to rebelling against society. But on the followup to Love Is All’s crush-worthy 2005 debut, Nine Times the Same Song, singer Josephine Olausson devotes nearly every song to simply avoiding society. “Sea Sick” finds her trapped on a cruise ship full of geriatrics, wondering, “am I the only one with an original hip?” On “Big Bangs, Black Holes, Meteorites,” she loses sleep over the immensity of the galaxy. And on album closer “19 Floors,” she gets direct, yowling, “I don’t want to walk my neighbor’s dog and I can’t lend a cup of milk!” If it’s hardly a punk rock rallying cry, it’s among the most addictive pop music of the decade. Like fellow Gothenberg, Sweden, resident Jens Lekman, Olausson has stretched her lyrics into more narrative terrain, capturing life’s irksome minutie (and her own ample neuroses) in a way that is genuinely funny without lapsing into novelty.

Of course, Olausson’s quirky observations are only as good as the band backing her. And as the band herks and jerks, skanks, and generally rocks the fuck out across A Hundred Things, it constantly reminds that Love Is All is one of the tightest pop outfits on the planet. Where Nine Times the Same Song was practically submerged in reverb, the mix on A Hundred Things is considerably cleaner, allowing the band’s performances to speak for themselves. On “Give It Back,” skittering guitar runs and sax squiggles dance over a razor-sharp groove, before erupting into a soaring, melodic chorus. The storming lead single, “Wishing Well,” is just as good. Nicking an organ riff from The Clean’s “Tally Ho,” Love Is All bristles with post-punk energy, but never betrays its pop sensibility. It’s an approach to songwriting the band may want to reconsider—if only for the sake of Olausson’s avoidist behaviors. Because with songs this good, dodging social interaction is only going to get harder. (www.myspace.com/loveisall8)

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