Chalk one up for the D.I.Y. aesthetic. Southern California café owner and former Aimee Mann sideman Joe Ongie crafted Lovefest largely by himself, on his own dollar, and sold and distributed it himself. But while it retains the charm of a homemade record crafted far from the influence of the music industry, Ongie's songwriting is sharp and his production clean and accessible. While he loathes the comparison, most of the material here falls into the sunnier side of Eels territory by way of Jon Brion, and that's quite a compliment since it puts Ongie in good company with some of the best other one-man band types around. So while Lovefest is far from a groundbreaking record, Joe Ongie will do right to anyone interested in Beatles-influenced Southern California singer/songwriter pop.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Damas