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Album review: Love Is All's 'A Hundred Things Keep Me Up at Night'

November 10, 2008 |  5:54 pm

Love_is_all_240 Love Is All's Josephine Olausson lives somewhere between panic and resignation. To some, the resulting sound will be loud, and maybe even shrill. And it might all be a mess, if the band behind her didn't keep Olausson's recklessness in check, using all sorts of clamoring horns and frantic rhythms to lead her to a dainty chorus nearly every time out.

Through 11 songs on "A Hundred Things Keep Me Up at Night," Sweden's Love Is All explore the full spectrum of anxiety. On "19 Floors," one's own apartment complex becomes a source of unrest. The neighbor's dog is an obstacle, and elevators are avoided for fear of small talk. Drums are coated in a layer of fuzz, background vocals buzz like a kazoo and a saxophone streaks down the fire escape. Agoraphobia rarely sounds this much fun.

One song and two minutes longer than its 2005 debut, "Nine Times That Same Song," Love Is All continues to find beauty in haste. Guitars clank off concrete in "A New Beginning," matching Olausson's every shriek, and the racing, sing-along verses of "Movie Romance" seem to take more glee than should be appropriate at watching people split up (the song's opening line: "Ha!"). 

But Love Is All is not a band of cynics. See "Wishing Well," where guitars skid-in and streak-out of the chorus, and the keyboards become as colorfully upbeat as a Christmas song. As for tossing those coins down the well? "Nothing got better and I'm slightly wet," squeals Olausson, once more celebrating one of life's harsh realities. 

--Todd Martens

Love Is All
"A Hundred Things Keep Me Up at Night"
What's Your Rupture?
Three stars