The Love Language: Libraries (Merge) 

Ultimately, a record can be like any other work of art, the product of hours upon hours of painstaking attention to detail and consideration of tone.

The Love Language's Libraries is a testament to that process: Recorded entirely by Stuart McLamb and producer/engineer BJ Burton, Libraries shimmers with the same intricate aura of a Bruegel painting, a symphony or a novel. The sounds, rhythms and melodies are laid out in patterns polished for optimal effect, and the sheer amount of time and work put into this record emanates out, making each song earnest and dense.

At the core of many of the songs on Libraries is a very simple early rock progression, one easily recognizable, but it's what McLamb does with the space around that progression that makes Libraries read like literature: Classic themes and conventions are given a new life. On "Summer Dust," for example, creaking chair noises introduce an acoustic guitar riff that quickly gets enhanced by a rolling bass riff and simple drums, which get even more enhanced by glockenspiel, an electric guitar melody, backing vocals and, finally, strings. On "Horophones," blissed-out synthesized melodies immediately lead the song into surf-rock realms, and the short but sweet "This Room" is packed with musical allusions sewn together brilliantly.

Needless to say, Libraries sounds best through headphones or high-quality speakers; laptop speakers don't do it justice.

More by Annie Holub


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