Say It More
It’s difficult to determine who’s shadow looms higher over NYC foursome Lo-Hi. The sound on their second album, Say it More, evokes alternately (and sometimes concurrently) Blondie, The B-52s, The Go-Go’s, and The Pretenders, though if one is going to be accurate, their sound really sounds closest to Sleater-Kinney (a band that also skates the line of being too derivative of all the above bands at times, but recovers nicely) with a dash of Bikini Kill. All in all, I couldn’t really say that Lo-Hi has anything approaching an original sound.
All that taken into account, there’s something to be said (at least in my book) for simply making competent and occasionally toe-tappingly good rock/pop. And Lo-Hi is certainly competent. For the most part, the lyrics are fun and the music is catchy. The song “White All Around” is indeed a very good song, so much so that it almost seems out of place on the otherwise average album. Other highlights that grab a few moments of above-average rock/popiness include the title track “Say It More” and the restrained beat-driven “Three Fish.” “Leopard Skin” manages to fell a little bit kinky with it’s sex talk, but the band doesn’t really seem to know how to Be Sexy, so the song just sort of results in some sly smirks at the bawdy imagery.
However, special mention needs to go to “Lucy,” which damn near ruins the whole damn record. Lo-Hi, it can be said from their album art and their Web site and their overall style, are quite self-consciously hip, to the point of fairly obvious posturing. Which is fine, and well in the rock tradition. But “Lucy” just comes across as trying far too hard to fill out the “quirky and retro” requirement of being “hip” these days. A love song to the TV show I Love Lucy, the music is dull and repetitive, with lyrics even Jonathan Richman couldn’t get away with singing. It’s just a terrible song, somehow shoehorned into an otherwise average-to-enjoyable collection of songs.
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