Lovecloud and Secret Tape offers another 18 tracks of home recordings by Jim Rao, whose '60s and '70s sunshine pop fixations are unfortunately not matched with originals of comparable quality, although he cranks out a good one now and then. A cover of Wings' "Silly Love Songs" might serve as a model of the kind of song Rao aspires to write, but his own efforts, such as "Summer Sunshine Girl" and "A Gentle Wind Rushes Through Her Hair," fall short. The lo-fi production, strummy guitars, and Casio drum machine beats might be enough to rope in a certain audience, but the bubblegum veneer demands stronger hooks. Orange Cake Mix might have the potential to make a great album, but Lovecloud and Secret Tape falls somewhere between mediocre and good.
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