Love Is All – Two Thousand & Ten Injuries (Polyvinyl) 05/04/2010
April 14, 2010 by Joe Morrison
What is it that Sweden have that we don’t, that makes them produce such great Indie-pop of all descriptions? From Victoria Bergsman and everything she touches, including The Concretes and her producers and collaborators Peter, Bjorn & John, to I’m From Barcelona, Dungen, Those Dancing Days and Shout Out Louds to name but a lot.
The noughties Swede-pop movement was joined by Love Is All, the somewhat ‘rockier’ of the bunch, even if (Dungen aside) this is hardly the most difficult accomplishment to achieve. Back in 2010 with third album proper ‘Two Thousand & Ten Injuries’, they continue to provide us with their fuzzy blend of art punk and indie rock to exciting effect, with possibly their most experimental yet surprisingly most accessible number yet.
Opener ‘Bigger Bolder’ is a brave opening title, a title matched by their bigger, bolder, and somewhat braver Strokes-esque ramshackle style, made all the more exciting as Josephine Olausson’s DIY vocals punch over the bands DIY punk.
‘Repetition’ is a moderately annoying title, but thankfully is a more thoughtful number continuing a more interesting theme for the most part of the album. A tricky number that will get under your skin and stay there. The band frolic with afrobeat rhythms – synonymous with Vampire Weekend and Yeasayer – that compliment the more straightforward pop previously released by Love Is All. Like ’Repitition’, this is evident on ‘Never Now‘. They’re creating a more thought provoking album, which is a real progression for a band that has become just that bit more enjoyable – and reminding ‘The Pains Of Being Pure at Heart’ (as great an album theirs was) just how good they can be.
The collection of these anthemic 3 minute wonders contain plenty of intriguing diversions to avoid complacency. Whether it’s a lean toward Arcade Fire at one turn or Grizzly Bear at the next (‘Less Than Thrilled’ and ‘The Birds Were Singing With All Their Might’ respectively) the experimentation is perfectly balanced with precision and poise. We’re even treated to a bit of an Edwyn Collins style funk on ‘A Side of The Bed’.
The instrumental ‘Take Your Time’ – even though a variation of Pachelbel Canon in D Major (or Coolio’s ‘I’ll C U When U Get There’ to me or you) – is an incredibly bliss, almost romantic closer, and its title has a never more so apt message.
Love Is All have clearly done their homework, and ‘taken their time’ (excuse the pun) to create their best work yet. Although not perfectly crafted, it’s a wonderful piece of work. They score an A+ for effort with a conservative B+ in execution. ‘Two Thousand & Ten Injuries’ is a perfect balance of meticulous planning and ramshackle punk, where the content is never overcooked yet never under looked.