Be What You Want is a striking debut for Sydney, Australia's the Love-Tones, a trio led by singer/songwriter Matt Tow, that manages to keep its balance on that difficult path between the past and the present. Tow is clearly a major fan of '60s U.K. pop from Revolver-era Beatles to the Move in their early days to the gossamer pop of the Zombies to David Bowie's pre-stardom mod phase (the anthemic, powerful opener "The Sound and the Fury" would have been a killer follow-up to Bowie's 1966 single "Can't Help Thinking About Me"), but unlike a lot of his contemporaries, Tow knows the difference between homage and thievery. Think Neil Finn or Allen Clapp, not Oasis. Songs like the dreamy neo-psychedelia of "Guiding Star" or the passionate title track are mature, literate pop with thoughtful, non-clichéd lyrics and sturdily memorable hooks. Be What You Want is a small, intimate record that proves that it's no longer enough to simply churn out third-rate Todd Rundgren and Badfinger imitations in the pop underground.
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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason