Blue Skies for Black Hearts

Love Is Not Enough

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Not that the band might appreciate the thought, depending, but arguably the cover of Love Is Not Enough is one of the more emo things around -- not only is it a heart (or a cartoon drawing of same) but it features both stitch marks and pins stuck in it. Hopefully they'll never be stuck clunkily namedropped in a Zach Braff movie. All this aside, Blue Skies for Black Hearts' 2006 effort is an amiable enough effort that may not change the world but still is a sweet little way to pass the time gently. If anything it's nice to hear low-key power pop -- as such -- instead of an aggressively overthought and beaten-to-death version of the same that has long since worn out its welcome, but enough about Weezer. Lead figure Pat Kearns' voice is pleasant if slightly wispy, but it matches the music well -- the band aren't out to bludgeon a listener over the head but to occasionally kick up sparks from time to time while otherwise doing a gentle ramble through rock & roll. On a couple of songs the arrangements are near-minimal, and the title track is simply Kearns and some acoustic guitar playing around with a lo-fi sound nicely. There's a deft turn of phrase here and there, to their credit, as on the song "You're Like Lead" ("...you're always bringing me down") and the description of one figure of affection as "a modern age Mary Tyler Moore meets Bettie Page." Love Is Not Enough isn't deathless, but Blue Skies for Black Hearts know their goal and meet it well, which is more than can be said for a lot of bands.

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