Love.45 [1999]

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Bursting at the seams with one power pop chord after another, Love.45 would be an excellent fit between the Calling and the Rembrandts in your collection. Starting off with a singles-quality "Letter to Myself" that resembles Lifehouse, lead singer Micki Shivers has a polished voice that hits all the right notes. "Wrapped in Bliss" follows a similar path but is a bit too over-produced, particularly the cookie-cutter guitar solo. One problem with these songs is how formulaic they sound, particularly the acoustic start of "Super Hero" that evolves into a rousing and summery pop/rock arrangement. "Get 'Em Out" has more of an edge to it along the lines of Collective Soul or Green Day circa "When I Come Around." Collective Soul's influence can be heard on the infectious "Beautiful Suicide." It also contains a lengthy improvisational jam for a conclusion. There is a certain rasp to the vocals on "Dumb," a rather aimless and inane song that has the vocals veering from Bryan Adams to Poison. "Ordinary Man" is the standout track, a high-octane run through three-chord emo punk. "December 31st 1999" is a joyous ode to the "end of the world" and a surprisingly good track. The cover of "Help" by the Beatles adds little to the record since it's a straightforward rendition of the classic hit. "The Last Sad Song," the last song here, is a country number that reeks of filler material.

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