Meiko's third full-length album, 2014's Dear You, features more of the Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter's melodic, introspective pop. Once again working with producer/bassist/electronic programmer Jimmy Messer (Kelly Clarkson, Neon Trees), Meiko has crafted a darker, moodier album than her past efforts. Messer's heavy, often overdriven basslines ground many of the tracks on Dear You, lending Meiko's songs a more of a funky art-rock style than her lyrical folk-inclined melodies would normally imply. There's also a menacing, groove-oriented, trip-hop quality to songs like "Bad Things," "Lose It," and "Be Mine," that speaks to Meiko's growing maturity as an artist. Also coloring this darker change are Meiko's lyrics which imply her having gone through a difficult break-up, or at least experienced some more complex romantic entanglements than what she has detailed on albums past. On "Bad Things," she sings, "You say that you want/All of my love/But let's be honest we don't need all that/I like it better with no strings attached." Musically, there's a spareness and muscularity to many of the songs on Dear You with cuts "Deep Sweat" and "Sittin' Here" sounding like something along the lines of the Cardigans' vocalist Nina Persson crossed with Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds. Ultimately, it's this kind of juxtaposition between the lyrically sweet and the emotionally sour that makes Dear You such an engaging listen.
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AllMusic Review by Matt Collar