Love Sign

Love Sign

by Free EnergyFree Energy

CD

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Overview

After recording a debut album for DFA that ranged from exhilarating to a whole bunch of fun, Free Energy -- Philly's answer to the common rock & roll complaint "they just don't write 'em like that anymore" -- switched labels and producers for their second effort, 2013's Love Sign. Starting their own label wasn't a bad idea at all, but going from James Murphy's live-sounding, mistakes-and-all style to John Agnello's slick and precise corporate rock sound, drains much of the rambunctious joy out of the group's retro-rock strut. Agnello got his start working with bands like the Hooters in the '80s and he and the band set out to create that kind of perfect airless sound, even going so far as to unapologetically say they were looking to capture the kind of drum sound one would hear on an Outfield record. Not exactly a recipe for thrilling, no-holds-barred rock & roll abandon, it's true, but the record does succeed in almost exactly the fashion they planned. Despite the lack of sweat and spilled beer, the songs are still pretty darn catchy. Just about every track would sound good next to a Loverboy song on the radio, proudly showing off high-fructose power chords, endlessly sunny dispositions, clanging cowbells, and Paul Sprangers' devil-may-care vocals. They have the formula memorized and can repeat it back in multiple variations, from midtempo groovers like "Hangin" and handclapping rockers like "Girls Want Rock" to the power ballad-y "True Love." Fans of the first album's low-rent, high-hook charm may feel that this record is a little too slick, a little measured, and overall sort of tame, and they'd have a point. But if you can get past that feeling and embrace the polished, shiny surfaces, and satin-jacketed AOR clichés, then Love Sign delivers a pleasing dose of nostalgic, good-time (almost) rock & roll.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/15/2013
Label: Free Energy
UPC: 0881626957820
catalogNumber: 2
Rank: 79100

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Free Energy   Primary Artist
Andy Burton   Piano
Scott Wells   Synthesizer,Acoustic Guitar,Percussion,Piano,Rhythm Guitar,Background Vocals
Paul Sprangers   Synthesizer,Guitar,Percussion,Piano,Rhythm Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals,DX-7
Eric Broucek   Synthesizer,Drums,Background Vocals
John Panos   Trumpet
Nick Shuminsky   Percussion,Drums,Background Vocals
Sheridan Fox   Guitar,Background Vocals
Daddy Boys   Background Vocals,Hand Clapping

Technical Credits

John Agnello   Arranger,Producer,Engineer
Neil Harris   Executive Producer
John Fell   Drum Technician
Scott Wells   Composer,drum machine
Paul Sprangers   Composer,Producer,drum machine
Ted Young   Engineer
Eric Broucek   Producer,Engineer
Dude Bros.   Producer
Free Energy   Arranger
Bill Wells   Artwork,Paintings
John Colangelo   Drum Technician
Dominic Neitz   Band Photo

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