Love at Absolute Zero
Although this album came out last year, it was only recently that a friend turned me onto this band. Undeniably, this is one of the best albums I’ve heard in two or three years. Stylistically, the music is reminiscent of mid to late eighties new wave. At first listen, one would think this was an obscure British band from ten odd years ago. But, this doesn’t make My Favorite a band intent on recycling the past. In their hands, the music takes on a vitality and earnestness that is sorely missing from most American pop music nowadays. With swathes of synthesizers, a crisp rhythm section and Darren Amadio’s guitar playing that evokes memories of the Smiths, this music is instantly captivating.
Lyrically, the music documents the travails and missteps of love at the end of a millennium (hence the title). There is also a display of class consciousness (rare for an American band) and the perils and emptiness of the endless club hopping scene. Listening to this album reminds me of the Martin Amis novel, Success, in that both document the cruel and ultimately, fruitless attempts to obtain some modicum of success in the city. Consider the lyrics from “The Informers”: “And beneath the stars, life is cheap and easy/ We take ecstasy, in sorrow, today’s a party but not tomorrow/ And at the disco he masters the new technology/ In this country we pay in hard currency/And I know this is gonna hurt.”
With the alternating vocals of Michael Grace and Andrea Vaughn, these songs are incredible. Finding an album that is this enjoyable and moving is a rare event nowadays. Go buy this disc.
Double Agent Records, Box 400082, Cambridge, MA 02140; http://www.doubleagentrecords.com