Bogart - The Love (Cover Artwork)


The Love (2006)


Bogart are confused. Maybe it's an identity crisis, or maybe its just an inability to make decisions, but on The Love they continually switch sounds without ever fully getting a handle on one. If you can imagine a chameleon that keeps changing colors, but is never actually able to camouflage itself, you will have some idea of the awkward and disjointed record Bogart have crafted.

The first two tracks, "Power Marketing" and "Love," seem to establish Bogart as a fuzzy rock act with lazy lounge singer vocals. Neither of the songs are very memorable, but they become even more forgettable after the next few tracks, which bear no resemblance to the band on the first two. After hearing the eerie piano balladry of "Vincent Black's Shadow," the Blur-like acoustic pop of "When You're Lonely," and the downright embarrassing open mic blues of "Bright Small Room," you have to wonder how Bogart ever thought such a disparate collection of songs could seem cohesive.

On the remainder of the album they drop, what is perhaps their best song, the Modest Mouse and Built to Spill-influenced "Car Crash," before just really seeming to give up not only on the idea of an album, but actual songs. "Sea of Japan" sounds downright alt-country for most of its running time before it turns into what sounds like a band warmup. "Byron" merely deteriorates into drum rolls, shouting, and "interesting" recording tricks that seem like the band ignored all technology post-Sgt. Pepper, before turning into what sounds like yet another song. "When Your Blue" is merely a seventeen-second track that sounds like it was written and recorded within five minutes' time. Then just when you think things can't grow anymore disorderly, Bogart throw in an organ instrumental ("Someone Still Loves You Sally Mathias"), a folksy jam ("You Can't Stop Christmas It Creeps…"), and two hidden tracks full of more sophomoric production tricks that sound like they were created by a couple of stoned recording students.

Interesting moments will never make for a great album, and sadly that is all Bogart have to offer with their all-over-the-place style of rock. In the end, instead of getting the work of one band, you get what sounds like a compilation where each singer just happens to have the same lackadaisical vocal approach.