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The Braves - Love & Mercy (Cover Artwork)

The Braves

The Braves: Love & MercyLove & Mercy (2005)
Johann's Face

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: AnchorsAnchors
(others by this writer | submit your own)

How many times have you been watching TV, and a movie trailer comes on proclaiming some romantic comedy or children's movie starring Eddie Murphy to be "the feelgood hit of the year?" If you've heard that half as many times as I have, then sick of it doesn't even begin to describe your distaste for .


How many times have you been watching TV, and a movie trailer comes on proclaiming some romantic comedy or children's movie starring Eddie Murphy to be "the feelgood hit of the year?" If you've heard that half as many times as I have, then sick of it doesn't even begin to describe your distaste for the phrase. Unfortunately, however, that's the description I'm offering for the Braves' Love & Mercy. It is a feel-good album, and there's no point during the 9 songs that you are subjected to Jula Roberts crying, or Bruce Willis trying to show his sensitive side. This throwback to late 80's and early 90's college rock is nothing breathtaking, but anybody who enjoys a good pop-rock tune once in a while should give this some spins.

What I find to be most engaging about this is the overall sense of maintaining a good melody. There's a definition to each song, one that allows them to each be enjoyed individually, rather than leaving you thinking that each song is overly similar to the one before it. The vocals provided are somewhat reminiscent of R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe, but the singer does have his own identity, and each styling works off its respective song. Whether it be upbeat and poppy, such as in one of the album's stronger tracks, "My Witness To The Ghost," or more calming and subdued with "Meet Me At The River." The album gets better as it goes on, with lead singer Joseph Reina really putting his feet on the ground. The vocals have such an earnest and emotional quality to them that it accompanies the hooks and melodic guitar better than any other style of vocals could.

The vocals can't stand on their own, however, and the rest of the members of the Braves accentuate Reina with their melodic yet rough around the edges style. The production benefits this CD well, without ever sounding too overdone. Some of the guitar lines and chord progressions are actually pretty impressive, without ever really having a chance to fall into a groove and make the songs boring. Even in "Meet Me At The River," the album's slowest track, the guitars have a dissonant but calming quality to them that makes the song as engaging as any of the more upbeat found on here.

For anybody who's still holding on to that burnt out candle that is early 90's college rock, this is a trip in a direction most bands are heading away from, but it's done well enough to make you cherish those times you actually liked Toad The Wet Sprocket. Love & Mercy is nothing you'll still be raving about in July, but for the time being, this is a solid effort from a band making music for a forgotten genre.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
maverick (March 19, 2005)

Also, you can hear a different song off the record, "My Witness To The Ghost," at http://www.myspace.com/thebraves .

-Scott

maverick (March 19, 2005)

To the dude looking for MP3s:

http://www.johannsface.com/mp3/The_Braves-Good_Advices.m p3

-Scott

astrovince (March 19, 2005)

please win another world series so people will appreciate your consecutive division titles more.

Anonymous (March 19, 2005)

Where can i find some mp3's?

Anonymous (March 18, 2005)

Chinatown...goto hell

inagreendase (March 18, 2005)

...but honestly, was this necessary?

Try and remember that 95% of what the staff reviews is stuff sent to us.

maverick (March 18, 2005)

Awesome band, really fun live. Their pedigree (ex-Gods Reflex and Evergreen Trio, two criminally underappreciated northern Illinois bands) rules, too.

-Scott

Anonymous (March 18, 2005)

Yeah, and they're the nicest guys ever. I swear!

-Chinatown

Anonymous (March 18, 2005)

honestly, these guys are simply amazing musicans. they are from the chicago/rockford land area and deserve some credit for what they do. Is there really a need to smash them because they are not hardcore/punk. They put out an honest whole hearted album full of melodies worthy of any true musicans to acknowledge and enjoy. So before you go stating the " i hate everything that isn't truly punk or hardcore," listen to album.
Aaron

Anonymous (March 18, 2005)

It's Julia.

gladimnotemo (March 18, 2005)

"This throwback to late 80's and early 90's college rock is nothing breathtaking, but anybody who enjoys a good pop-rock tune once in a while should give this some spins."

I know I'm flogging a dead horse here, but.....punknews.org? I'll give you some room on the 'hardcore-screamo-metalcore' releases, but honestly, was this necessary?

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