Album Review: Sara Lov – Seasoned Eyes Were Beaming

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The dreamy Hawaii-born vocalist Sara Lov started her musical career back in 1996 as the front woman of the dream pop band Devics. Then, when things fizzled almost a decade later, Lov figured she might as well go solo. She immediately hitched up with Nettwerk, who have made her new solo career fully blossom, and now, just two months after the release of The Young Eyes EP , her stunning debut album Seasoned Eyes Were Beaming is here.

At each turn, Seasoned Eyes Were Beaming shows itself to be a unique art form. From the cover art’s delicate flower design to Lov’s echoing folk tunes to the entire album’s riff on the idealism of youth, Lov marks a journey of the self that’s both positive and reassuring. The music is as moody as expected, with heartfelt vocals and Lov’s seductive cool, which comes across as both dark and devious while still managing to sound somewhat heavenly.

Surprisingly, Seasoned Eyes Were Beaming only features two of the five tracks from her recent EP, in turn consisting of eight catchy and hypnotic new tracks. Lov shows her versatility on this record with the inclusion of theatrical keyboard melodies and wavering guitar riffs. However, it must be noted that Seasoned Eyes Were Beaming carries a sound reminiscent of the languorous pop melodies she created with Devics.

“Just Beneath The Chords” starts things off at a slow pace, with its unique marxophone backing melody that sparks feelings of a boat rocking gently amongst the waves. Now, if you’ve got no clue what a marxophone actually is then you’ll be pleased to hear that it’s a rare fretless zither instrument with four sets of chord strings, pretty neat huh? After that we’re hit with “Frankie” which stunningly showcases Lov’s shaky and distant vocals. Later on, the haunting piano melody of “New York” sends chills down our spines, as the title track knocks us back shortly afterwards with a quaint guitar melody and the muffled tap-tap of a snare drum.

The charming duet “Animals” featuring a musical dialogue between her and Alex Brown Church is a personal favorite. Essentially it’s a breakup song, but it comes across as something much deeper than that, as it’s led steadily by a simplistic and jaunty guitar melody. Also, the eerie ballad “Tell Me How” is another solid tune about relationships and inevitable breakups.

What really makes this album stand out, however, is Lov’s introspective and thought provoking lyrics. In “A Thousand Bees” Lov cries out almost quizzically, “how sweet is the revenge/when you don’t want it anymore/how meaningless the defense/when you’re not fighting anymore.” Then later on, Lov reminds us of how easy it is to get hurt in “Fountain” when she remarks, “don’t you wish you could throw your pennies back at them/fountain fountain/ we are the same.” It’s clear that Lov has a way with words that hit hard.

Running just under forty minutes, the ten track record is a tad short, but overwhelmingly enjoyable. It’s witty, it’s touching and most importantly it’s sincere; a quality which is hard to find these days. Plain and simple Seasoned Eyes Were Beaming is simply stunning. And if Lov manages to keep up at this pace, 2009 might have a few more goodies ahead from this sweet folk rock singer.

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