Merz

Loveheart

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    7
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AllMusic Review by

Six years after his debut, singer/songwriter Conrad Lambert finally returns with the stripped-down follow-up Loveheart. Blending stark sequencers and electronic beats against simple acoustic guitar parts and the occasional touch of hand percussion, the ten songs on Loveheart are simple to the point of skeletal. At times, one wishes for some of the sonic richness of Stephin Merritt's Magnetic Fields albums, which are the closest stylistic touchstone for this kind of minor-key bedsit electronica; the mock-baroque "Verily" is a fine example of what the album as a whole might have sounded like. However, Lambert's vocals are so appealing -- ranging from the intimate near-whisper of the title track to a delicate higher register that recalls Swedish twee pop star José González -- and he's such a clever melodicist, with a knack for instantly memorable tunes like "Dangerous Heady Love Scheme," that Loveheart remains enchanting despite its minor flaws.

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