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A review of...
Spiritual Songs For Lovers To Sing by LUH
Power balladry and arty synths clash on this debut album
If you can get over the fact that the singer of LUH (Ellery Roberts of WU LYF) sounds like Limmy doing "Wrong Way Down a One Way Street" (look it up), then you may well get on fine with this debut album... but by Christ...that voice is an acquired taste, and one that I'm not sure I've quite acquired just yet. As for the music, it's at various points, industrial, crashing and euphoric and is predominately driven by a chorus of synthesisers. It's an interesting sound, which is to be expected when it comes from Ebony Hoorn (an A/V artist) and producer The Haxan Cloak who's previously worked on Björk’s Vulnicura. On the whole though, the record works best on the quieter numbers when the music and vocals are given space to breath, perfectly exemplified by the lushly atmospheric "Future Blues" (which, incidentally, sees Roberts stepping away from vocal duties). But this sort of thing is a rare treat on Spiritual Songs For Lovers To Sing, and all too often there's something genuinely awful, like the autotune hell of "$oro" (which does redeem itself slightly for its daft speed-techno outro) or "Lament" which sounds like The Killers fronted by a madman. I'm sure there's an audience for this music, and I'll give it credit for not sounding like anything else I've heard this year, but for me there's just too much going on.
"Future Blues" - easily the album's high point. Sometimes less is more.
"Someday Come" - the layered up synthesisers create an epic soundscape which is complimented by some nice orchestral touches. The 80s soundtrack vibe (think The Never Ending Story) actually compliment Ellery Roberts' voice quite well here.