You're Awful, I Love You
Alexishxc1337, on july 04, 2008 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: From the moment I heard the song "Love Me Dead" on Fuse, I was instantly impressed, something that rarely occurs with me. It had infectious, catchy verses, with a big, fun chorus, all of which are traits that automatically catch my ears. But who was this band? Ludo, I would sooner learn, a St Louis based quintet. Based off this song alone, my instinct told me I should check out the album that "Love Me Dead" was from, "You're Awful, I Love You", and to eagerly anticipate more tracks like the one in question. Put simply, Ludo is a pop-punk band with tons of potential, but "You're Awful" really fell short of my expectations. The album incorporates the basics; guitar, bass, and drums, as well as some moog/keyboard. Nothing innovative, but nothing that really drags down the album either. What really keeps the album's head above water is a few stand-out tracks, including the afforementioned "Love Me Dead", and the odd, faux-myth tune "Lake Ponchartrain". Roughly half the album is fairly fresh and interesting, with original sounds, and a few excellent guitar solos, but the other half seems too familiar, and just a bit average. // 7
Lyrics: At the helm of this band is Andrew Volpe, guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter. He has a strong voice, and carries his lyrics well over the music. The lyrics can be very dark, and stray from the cliches used by other bands within the genre. In "The Horror Of Our Love", Volpe sings, "Oh love, I'd never hurt you/But I'll grind against your bones/Until our marrows mix/I will eat you slowly". Refreshing, and original. His voice stays low throughout the song, and reflects the lyrics well. This remains constant in the album, which helps you convey the song meanings better. Overall, Volpe is a very talented singer, and his lyrics help "You're Awful" remain slightly original, and keeps the songs with average musicianship more interesting to listen to. // 9
Overall Impression: Musically, the album can range from run of the mill pop-punk power chords, to interesting, Say Anything-esque melodies, the former of which unfortunately dominates the album. Andrew Volpe's voice isn't too distinct. At times, the vocal style and delivery remind me of Justin Pierre of Motion City Soundtrack, which certainly is not a bad thing. However, I did get my expectations up a little too high, thinking the album would be littered with songs as catchy and fun as "Love Me Dead". They are fairly well constructed and well written, but some songs could easily blend in and be mistaken for something by All Time Low (not knocking ATL, I like them a lot), or another pop-punk band on the scene right now. There are a few good solos on the album, and the lyrics are redeeming, but at the end of the day, "You're Awful, I Love You" is just a slightly above average effort by a band with tons of potential. I'll definitely be keeping my eye on Ludo, they could easily bloom into an incredible band. // 7
You're Awful, I Love You
unregistered, on august 20, 2008 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Ludo is a blast of pop-punk/80's synth held together by the vocal brilliance of frontman Andrew Volpe. Volpe plays rhythym guitar as well. Otherwise, the band is made up of lead guitar, bass, drums, and a rather random but welcome Moog synthesizer. Thus, one could say that in terms of the actual ensemble, the only points of true excellence are the Moog and Volpe's vocals. That said, the actual musical sound produced by these instruments is broad and occasionally unique, ranging from the bounce of the ever-popular Love Me Dead to the epic, broad-brush roar of the lesser-known Please. Yet even within those two songs, one can find a range of musical influences, from a ripping solo in Love Me Dead to the minimalist verses of Please. Unfortunately, Ludo falls into the category of muddled, reheated rock on a few too many of their songs. By no means does it come even close to killing the album, but tracks such as Scream, Scream, Scream and Mutiny Below sound like things we've heard before, barring the inclusion of that Moog, of course. // 6
Lyrics: Andrew Volpe is a born songwriter. His past work has established this fact, and he definitely unloads on this CD. Go-Getter Greg is a great example of his ability to paint characters almost effortlessly and create moods with his fantastic sense of delivery. And while The Horror of Our Love is musically unoriginal and lyrically rather bizarre, it is well crafted and delivered with the creepy, gentle touch of a man who can eerily make himself sound like a serial killer. I have to take a moment to say that Volpe's vocals are stunningly good. He rips into Love Me Dead with gusto, but in capable of delivering a full, gentle sound on Topeka and a nasally buzz for Go-Getter Greg. More importantly, it all sounds good. Frequently, on a CD in which a vocalist goes for some of the things Volpe attempts, you catch yourself cringing and thinking, "Yeah, that didn't work." There isn't a single moment of that on this CD. // 9
Overall Impression: In the final analysis, Ludo seems to have had a minor sophomore slump, one CD late. Their first self-titled CD was absolutely brilliant lyrically and in terms of sound, though it wasn't always good. Their second offering, the beyond-awesome EP Broken Bride, established Volpe as fully capable of being drop-dead serious in addition to throwing around songs like Girls On Trampolines. And now, with Love Me Dead, Ludo reverses the situation they dealt with on their first CD. Now, they aren't as original, but they sound pretty for every second of it, and even fabulous through about half of it. I downloaded this beast off of iTunes, and that's probably your best bet, as the song Japan It! is included in that version, while the hard copy ditches that in favor of two 'hidden tracks' that could be done without. Ludo seems to have been victimized by the whole Our Label Is Out Of Touch syndrome in that example.
01. Love Me Dead - their well-known single. Opens with a bouncy-polka progression, then throws itself off the cliff with a driving chorus topped by a screaming Moog and a melody that's going to brand itself into your brain. Listen with caution, as it may cause occasional public bursts of song.
02. Drunken Lament - an amusing and somewhat bitter song best noted for a solid chorus and the opening segment in which Moog and lead guitar match each other on a nice riff. Excellent lyrics on this one, but the melody doesn't grab like it could.
03. Please - this is an absolutely gripping song that goes from being quietly brooding to a full-on power ballad that soars through one of the best choruses I've heard in a long time. Verses are lyrically lacking, but only by comparison. It must be heard simply for Volpe's brilliant vocals.
04. Topeka - an odd but undeniably enjoyable ditty. Lyrically nonsensical, it runs straight ahead on a simple chord progression, relying on a few good lines and a layering of different instruments over the solid and enjoyable acoustic that makes up the bedrock of the song. Nice, tight harmonies here, too.
05. Lake Ponchartrain - a creepy yet hilarious, grinding piece of work loaded with everything from ska-like guitars to full church organs. The lyrics here are as good if not better than Love Me Dead. Also features one of the most unique yet catchy choruses I've ever heard. It's downfall comes in it's lack of a good solo. It just feels like there should be a solid moment to cut loose in there. By no means does that make this song unworthy, however.
06. Such As It Ends - a mostly forgettable pop-punk song. Moog is used to attempt to give it something to grab you, but the song lacks a good hook. Volpe is excellent as always, but musically, the song falls on its face.
07. Mutiny Below - opens with the ultimate pop-punk cliche: a blast of sustained chord over a Hammond B-3 complete with Leslie speaker cab. It goes on to continue that theme of forgettable, cliched melody and music, although the lyrics prop it up a little.
08. Streetlights - is an odd little song. An acoustic guitar and a piano open beneath a strange, almost classical melody set to atmospheric lyrics. It goes downhill from there, however. This song, too, neglects a melody, relying on the interesting instrumental choices of violins playing pizzicatto and an accordion. The bridge mixes it up a little throwing a mandolin into the fray.
09. Go-Getter Greg - feels like a song that's definitely the best of both worlds: an old-school Ludo feel with that fresh tight sound and fabulous vocals. While it's not the most original musically and it lacks a solid hook, the melody is catchy, the chorus is infectious, and the lyrics are laugh-out-loud funny. A must-listen.
10. The Horror Of Our Love - is just weird. I have no idea what Volpe was thinking when he wrote this, but I doubt that his original idea was for it to develop into the minimalist, acoustic, floaty song that this became. Musically nice, lyrically twisted. It was probably an attempt to be funny that just crash-and-burned. You can definitely skip this one.
11. Scream, Scream, Scream - is more of the same derivate work that is peppered through the album. The lyrics make a good point about the nature of the music world today that definitely needs to be heard, but the song lacks a hook and a good melody. Ultimately forgettable, except for the lyrics.
12. In Space - an interesting piece that is definitely on the musically cliched side, but Volpe and the boys pull it out with good lyrics, a well-written chorus, and some very excellent Moog work. As a matter of fact, the Moog keeps this song interesting throughout much of it's length.
13. Japan It! (iTunes bonus track) - a song that really should have been included on the full CD. This song gives us a ballad-like, Moog-infested tweak of modern America's obsession with Asia. Worthy of mention is the heavy application of a wah pedal and a great solo. Ludo is back on form here, throwing down fabulous lyrics, wonderfully random interjections of "USA! USA! USA!," an excellent hook, and full use of heavy sarcasm.
In conclusion, buy it. Then buy Broken Bride. You won't be disappointed. // 7
You're Awful, I Love You
fret13, on september 01, 2008 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: I just recently found out about Ludo, the St. Louis based rock band and I have to say, I was quite impressed. The first song of theirs I heard was there first single off of the album "Love Me Dead". They created the playlist on MTV hits and I fell in love with the singer, Andrew Volpe's voice. It kind of gave me the whole theatre feel. So, it was enough convincing for me to pick up the album, which was conveniantly on sale at Best Buy for only 8 dollars. The album starts off with the first single "Love Me Dead" which has verbally ironic lyrics to make it a comical tune. the next song was kind of a "ho hum" for me and I skipped half way through. Then I got to the songs "Please" and "Topeka". "Please" being, personally one of my favorite songs on the CD but lacked good lyrics, "Topeka" also is one of my favorites just because at the beginning of the song, Volpe, changes his voice and sounds exactly like Justin Pierre of Motion City Soundtrack(or maybe it really was Justin) but continuing, "Lake Ponchatrain" is another one of the lyrically mastering songs that gave me a chuckle or two and is still very catchy. after "Lake Ponchatrain", none of the other songs struck me very catchy, they were just kind of bland, but by no means bad, just boring. "Streetlights" is probably the only other song on the second half of the album worth listening to. The CD does have a few guitar solos, but I wish that it had a few more. All in all, this CD is great, gets bland at moments but by no means a bad cd. They highly resemble Motion City Soundtrack with the moog added in the songs. // 8
Lyrics: Some songs completely blew me away lyrically. Some blew lyrically. Volpe really shows his writing talents in the more upbeat funny songs such as "Topeka", "Love Me Dead", "Lake Ponchatrain", and "Go-getter Greg". Others such as "Please", "Such as it Ends", and "Drunken Lament" lack lyrically in my opinion but by far, the song that I wish was never on the CD is "The Horror of our Love" there is no lyrical talent what so ever in this song and makes me feel like I just listened to an hour of slitting-your-wrists-emo-music. Volpe, although, has an outstanding voice, one of the best voices in the genre in my opinion. // 7
Overall Impression: Overall, it's almost exactly like a Motion City Soundtrack CD but not quite, if you catch my drift. I have to say that my favorite song on the CD has to be "Please" even though it lacks lyrically. my least favorite is definately "The Horror of our Love" absolute hate. if someone stole this CD I probably wouldn't buy it again just because it was only 8 dollars and thanks to modern technology, I have iTunes. // 8
You're Awful, I Love You
lumpomatic, on december 17, 2008 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: The sound that Ludo has is quite unique even though they sound a lot like other bands. You may think this does'nt make any sense but I think they sound differents because of the moog. The album "Your Awful, I Love You" has the story telling of "Broken Bride" and the full on rock ballads of "Ludo". The album is a mixture of soft and rock songs that balance out equally, this makes all the songs sound different and does'nt leave you saying "isnt this the same song as track 5" // 10
Lyrics: "Your Awful, I Love You" has some of the best lyrics that I have heard in a long time. It uses the story telling of Broken Bride which is uniqe and brilliant compared to the usual love songs of other bands and the bouncy rock songs from "Ludo. Andrew Volpe has a wonderful voice that's puts some other singers to silence, he sounds a lot like Justin Pierre from "Motion City Soundtrack", which is a very big compliment. // 10
Overall Impression: "Your Awful, I Love You" is the best album I have ever heard. The vocals of Andrew Volpe mixed with the brilliant guitar of Tim Ferrel will leve you hanging on for the next tune from Tim Convy's moog. The best songs from the album are "Love Me Dead", "Topeka", "Such As It Ends", "Lake Ponchatrain", "Scream, Scream, Scream" and "In Space". I love everything about this album, the hidden bonus track sung by Tim Ferrel at the end of "In Space tops it off I say thank god for Ludo. If I lost this CD I would cry all the way to my computer order it again and sit on the mailbox until it arrived. One last word. Remember sleep is the most important meal of the day. // 10