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REVIEW: LVL Up - Return To Love

REVIEW: LVL Up - Return To Love

By: Jess Sanchez
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After reviewing two singles from this album (“Pain” and “Hidden Driver”) I was so relieved to finally be able to review the whole thing. New York Indie Band LVL UP has dropped their third album, Return to Love, and it has been met with extremely positive reviews (spoiler: this one included).


This album has many angles as far as lyrical content goes - a fine example would be the singles I reviewed: “Pain” a secretly scathing song disguised as a meandering little ditty about wishing ill-will on someone who has wronged a loved one, and “Hidden Driver” a quaint little rock song questioning the existence of God. Admittedly the low-key double tracked vocals and almost monotone sound can bleed tracks on Return to Love a little, but paying close attention and discovering what this album has to offer won't disappoint you.


Return to Love speaks to the root of its title with an air of comfortable familiarity. The band's overall lo fi aesthetic is augmented by the alternating vocals evoking straightforward, homespun voice tones that achieve the difficult, perfect mix of hip that is equal parts cool and apathetic.


Particularly striking is the band's elegant balance of bass, drums, vocals, and guitars. On tracks like “Blur,” which is anything but, the sheer mastery of this balance makes the song all the stronger from both a composition and enjoyment perspective. “Spirit Was” further proves the point with a superb intro that's so strong that I started to hope it was an instrumental track until the vocals kicked in and kicked it up to an even higher plane.


As a whole, Return to Love kicks a hole in the “old is new again” cliche, revealing that true artists transcend the harsh box of genre to create on a different level. For LVL UP, this is the high end of lo fi.

 

LVL Up - Return To Love


Listen to a song by clicking on a title below:

Click to Play LVL UP - “Pain”

Click to Play LVL UP - “Hidden Driver”

 
 
 
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