Rodeo Ruby Love - This Is Why We Don't Have Nice Things (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Rodeo Ruby Love

This Is Why We Don't Have Nice Things (2010)

Crossroads of America

Rodeo Ruby Love start their newest album, This Is Why We Don't Have Nice Things, with pretty middle-of-the-road acoustic emo in "Elizabeth." It's merely okay, and not the greatest indicator of the betterness that's yet to come on the album.

Its follower, "America's Funniest Home Videos," is snappier and more refreshing. But this band is largely Bob Saget as Bob Saget from Full House and not his stand-up background: RRL remind me of the cutesy, nuevo-emo power-pop of early Sherwood with shades of the Get Up Kids' late-period chug and toned-down melodies. It's a little long, and a little "tweemo," if I may be so meme-esquely outlandish, but it's hardly offensive and it's the type of stuff that could cross one or two generational boundaries with some acceptance.

"Black Sunday" feels like more comfortable, mature territory for them. There's smart, well-versed stop-starts, the keys are emphasized less and the co-ed vocals are less jarring, with more layers and less trading off. If you notice the record's midsection beginning to lag a little, well, it kinda is, but the bright brass sounds of "The Coming Up Roses" should perk up some attention, and the more energetic ushering in of "Beast of Joy" does well. "No One But Us" is another late picker-upper, with a celebratory hook riding a steady set of power chords.

This Is Why We Don't Have Nice Things is comfortable and commensurate. There's been stronger examples of it in recent years, but there's also been much, much weaker ones at that.

America's Funniest Home Videos
Beast of Joy
Rickey Henderson
Careful with That Axe