The Loose Salute's 2007 debut Tuned to Love was an album that paid homage to the sunny, laid-back sound of Southern California in the late 1960s and early ‘70s, fusing elements of sunshine pop, country-rock, and the more polished side of the singer/songwriter movement. Four years later, the group has returned with Getting Over Being Under, and the album seems to subtly reflect that passage in time by suggesting the more cynical, self-centered tone that crept into West Coast pop as the bloom fell off the rose of American pop culture in the wake of Watergate and the long, ugly end of the Vietnam war. Of course, none of these topics are addressed on Getting Over Being Under, and the Loose Salutes craft is as beautifully controlled here as on their debut. Songwriter and bandleader Ian McCutcheon is a sure hand with a melody, and his drumming is superb, while Lisa Billson's breathy, assured vocals would have sounded right at home on any number of Laurel Canyon sessions of the mid-'70s, the guitar work by Aiden Evans and Robert Jesse is excellent and stylistically varied, and Alan Forrester's keyboards add the perfect final touch. Just like the Loose Salute's first album, Getting Over Being Under honors its pop influences brilliantly, but the ironic distance between music and lyrics has grown considerably in four years: there's a palpable emptiness in the glossy good times of "Happy I Don't Count" and "Run Out of Mornings," a clear stream of spiritual bitterness flows through "Sister Corita," the sexual byplay of "Hermosa" and "The Three of Us" suggests discarded subplots of Shampoo with a seedier undertow, and there's a crippling doubt lurking throughout the beautiful surfaces of "That's What You Said." While the frequent pedal steel guitars and easygoing melodies suggest a sunnier time just a couple years earlier, Getting Over Being Under shares its heart and soul with Fleetwood Mac and Rumours, two albums of masterful pop music with a wellspring of chaos, heartbreak, and anger visible below the water line for anyone willing to look for it.
AllMusic Review by Mark Deming