X Ambassadors

Love Songs Drug Songs

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AllMusic Review by

Brooklyn's X Ambassadors' 2013 EP Love Song Drug Songs works as a perfect introduction to the band’s emotionally complex alt-rock. X Ambassadors are a four-member band centered around a team of brothers -- singer/songwriter Sam Harris and keyboardist Casey Harris. Musically, X Ambassadors build a percussive mix of synthesizers, booming drums, and atmospheric guitar lines around vocalist Sam Harris' yearning, robust cry. A darkly charismatic frontman, Harris sings in both a snarling, throaty baritone and a soulful falsetto. Tracks like the roiling, guilt-ridden "Unconsolable," the apocalyptic and lust-ridden "Love Songs Drug Songs," are moody yet anthemic rock cuts that bring to mind the grand opera of Florence + the Machine, the sultry guitar bombast of Kings of Leon, and the slick, funk-oriented inclinations Maroon 5. Meanwhile, on songs like “Down with Me,” X Ambassadors reveal their love for mixing contemporary R&B inflections with a sweeping, ‘80s new wave sensibility, solidifying Love Songs Drug Songs as a passionate, literate, and moving collection.

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