Soon Enough Love

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AllMusic Review by Timothy Monger

Skidding down the Technicolor psych-pop highway are Vows, the recording project of Jeff Pupa and James Hencken who recorded their third LP, Soon Enough Love, between a Vermont living room and a New Jersey basement, alternately swapping tracks back and forth over the course of a summer. Since the release of their homemade, NPR-touted debut in 2011, they've continued to subtly tweak their '60s-indebted pop with the aid of collaborator Sabeel Azam and a handful of other part-time/touring bandmates. Following 2013's Stranger Things LP and a smattering of singles and EPs, they've upped the ante and added a few ribbons to the rainbow on this effects-laden set that sports a decidedly warm-weather feeling. More so than on their previous efforts, Soon Enough Love has its feet firmly planted in the psychedelia of 21st century acts like the Flaming Lips, Midlake, and Tame Impala, with electronic splatters, loops, and walls of thick synths painting songs that drift in and out of pop sophistication and outright jamminess. Opener "Futuis Eam" provides some of the fun factor of the Dukes of Stratosphear's mid-'80s odes to the Nuggets era, though it feels more in line with backward-gazing contemporaries like Foxygen and Temples. "The Snake" offers a classic, riff-based guitar groove while "Shrinking Violet" relies more on hyper-compressed digital thump as swirling, treated vocals and guitar cascade across the top. The vibe and the style here are nothing but fun and Pupa and Hencken are quality players/producers, but in terms of songwriting the album feels short on standout material, as if they spent more time dressing up the songs than slaving over their content. Still, fans of creatively layered pop with an experimental exuberance will enjoy this release.

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