Sound — 8
The lulling sway of Sara Lov's vocals is Enya-ephemeral and Alison Sudol, of A Fine Frenzy, supple. Lov's latest release The Young Eyes is a 5-track disc that opens up wounds and tends to their needs with a mindful care, providing liquidity atmospherics, succor vocals, and medicinal orchestral strings. Her album is ambient-pop picturesque suturing classic piano strips and silky cello seams which move with stealth smoothness beneath Lov's vocal melodies. The slow waddling tempo of New York along with Lov's elastic vocal movements are reminiscent of Australia's Sarah Blasko, whereas the folksy tottering of Time Bomb has a Patti Griffith-trundle as heaps of orchestral wings and lacy keyboard trimmings tie neatly around the ends. Lov has a voice that can move the listener into becoming more thoughtful to scars inside that cry out for tending. She has such a close bond to the hurt which the mind wants to forget that it makes her voice seem clairvoyant at times, causing the listener to wonder how did she know that injury was there. The willowy piano keys along a come equipped with slits of moonlight glow gleaming through the tulip-shaped patterns while the piano keys take on a more melancholic mood in her cover of Arcade Fire's tune 'My Body Is A Cage, embellished by twinkling layers of cello, ukulele, pump organ, and celesta. The slow steady beats in the track build up momentum gradually as the instruments each enter to form dainty spirals overhead. The final track Why Can't I Be has the music stop and go while Lov's vocals show a persistent will to carry on even as the music pauses. The introspective aura and minimal vibrations emitting from the brushed strokes project a fragile spirit as the light dotting of orchestral squiggles echo with a soft resonance. It's as if Lov feels every aching part of the wound that she is tending to, as she mends it with gentle ministrations.
Lyrics — 8
Sara Lov's songs lean towards feeling helpless and frail like in her song Why Can't I Be as she perceives, You make me feel something / And I become / What you think I am Why can't I be / A little more like you / And I do everything / To keep from slipping / But you pull me down / And you are so strong / Why can't I be / And now you are back / And I don't even want you / But still I'm the weak one / And why can't I be / Why can't I be / A little more like you. Her songs keep the listener hanging on tenterhooks as the story in the songs unravel. A melancholic shadow shrouds the eye of her songs making them a murky solution that makes it impossible to figure out which why is up. This could be Lov's attraction to Arcade Fire's song My Body Is A Cage as she recites, My body is a cage / That keeps me from dancing with the one I love / But my mind holds the key / I'm standing on the stage / Of fear and self-doubt / It's a hollow place /But they'll clap anyways / My body is a cage / That keeps me from dancing with the one I love I'm living in an age / Who's name I don't know / Though the fear keeps me moving / Still my heart beats so slow / My body is a cage / That keeps me from dancing with the one I love / Though my mind holds the key Set my spirit free / Set my body free.
Overall Impression — 8
Sara Lov's disc The Young Eyes is a very personal offering. The songs reveal aching feelings and a succor voicing that is thoughtful and sensitive to the hurt. Her attachment to human frailty is reminiscent of Tori Amos as Lov's singing exposes a very delicate esprit. It's hard to imagine that Sara Lov has more to learn when she already seems like a mentor for others. Her album might be considered too soft by many critics, but rumpling up angry emotions and agitating scars isn't her goal. Rather, she goes for the healing approach without running away from the confrontation or battle.