Love Is All – Two Thousand and Ten Injuries

First of all, okay, yes, I am dense. It did take me a few minutes to realize Two Thousand and Ten Injuries is a play on the year. Let’s all have a quick awkward laugh, and really think  about that title. Injuries aren’t too grand, getting hurt sucks, emotionally and physically. However, to say there are two thousand and ten of them? That’s a lot of pain; judging from most of the material on Love Is All’s third album, I’m guessing there is a long lineage of human history that she channels filled with rejection, sadness, and heartache. To that end, one of the first memorable lines of the album is “There’s no satisfying to make this smart/I simply hate every minute that we’re apart.” They’re going for the jugular.

Before this album, I had no knowledge of Love Is All or their first two albums, thus Two Thousand and Ten Injuries gets a large advantage in that I have nothing to compare it to. However, the feeling arises after listening to this album a couple times that it would compare favorably unless those previous ones were masterpieces: this album is well-paced, lyrically bold, and interestingly crafted. Framed under the guise of a pop-rock album, Love Is All make room for not only a Saxophone, but also a lute and general keyboard accompaniments. They also attack from a dance angle on songs like “Less Than Thrilled” and “The Birds Were Singing With All Their Might” and even incorporate now indie standard surf and beach elements on “False Pretense” and “Again Again”.

All that in mind, it sounds like it’d be a pretty easy listen, with all the eclectic styles and instrument choices, but something may hold it back for many; thought Joanna Newsom or Regina Spektor had an odd voice? You haven’t heard the odd, breathy, and very thick accent of Josephine Olausson, who’s Swedish mannerisms come through in full force. It certainly adds to the odd charm the album accumulates over it’s run time, but it is also sure to split the field, with most casual listeners not quite getting on board with her passionate, but surely pidgeoned performance. However, I’m guessing if you are aware of the group itself, you’re on-board; after all, you wouldn’t dismiss a masterpiece of literature just because the guy has bad handwriting.

Josephine Olausson is a much more able songwriter than you’d suspect, with the album’s seemingly innocent, energetic performances sometimes slowing down to match the love-sick poetry of her lyrics. Her desperate delivery works well with the very blunt, simple words she chooses, which at first may seem childish, but reveal themselves to be quite effective. It’s through their simplicity that we’re able to relate; what kind of pop music would this be without some sort of heart break? On “Repetition” she pleas “Be still, be still my heart/You’re beating much too fast,” a line that lingers just from it’s universal appeal.

Love Is All’s third album is quite a good one. It’s not for everyone, with it’s happily heart-broken atmosphere being delivered through Olausson’s divisive voice, and for all of the hooks and fun, the cognitive dissonance doesn’t quite match the caliber of something like Hissing Fauna; but then again, what does? If you’re looking for a deep, lingering study of love and misery, you might want to look elsewhere, but if you want to go “Hey, I do that too!” while getting plenty of hooks, you need look no further. Two Thousand and Ten Injuries revels in it’s pain and dances through turbulence, making it the perfect soundtrack for you to do just the same.

by Trevor “Heart-broken Hero” Johnson

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1 Comment

  1. 08/29/10: New Review, Site Updates « Avery Island: Musical Opinions From Music Geeks said,

    […] Love Is All – Two Thousand and Ten Injuries by Trevor Johnson […]

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