The Robot Ate Me
Not only do three song titles on Carousel Waltz include the word “love” — “Where Love Goes,” “This Love is Waiting” and “Hi Love” — but the word is used roughly twenty times throughout the album’s duration. It’s delivered with all the wide-eyed sincerity and optimism of dawn on a spring day. In an age of overdone irony and sarcasm, it’s fairly endearing for a songwriter to put something so syrupy and maudlin out there and not dress it up in a self-deprecating context. Of course, if your Valentine’s Day, like mine, is going to consist of drinking wine alone and watching vampire movies, it might be hard to swallow The Robot’s aww-shucks happiness with every atom of existence.
For those of us in this boat, it’s more necessary to focus on head ‘bot Ryland Bouchard’s ramshackle orchestration. Standard lo-fi fare, buttressed by electronics and dented brass arrangements, its aspirations might be heavenly, but the result is homely. It’s a pleasant, smile-inducing experience for even us hard-hearted folks, and one that a thoroughly devout indie couple should love.