The tunes are achingly, unrelentingly lovely; the guitars jangle and shimmer charmingly; the chord progressions move from catharsis to catharsis. Sam Llanas
and Kurt Neumann
's voices blend like angels in a choir. Sometimes the effect is subtle -- like when they sing about a woman who will "Sit on the front porch, watch the sun go down/Holding hands with her newborn baby." It's a sweet image, but one undermined by the fact that it's pretty hard to picture a woman holding hands with a newborn. Sometimes the effect is more abrasive -- like when they sing "Sometimes she snores, sometimes she breathes on me/So I push her away so tenderly" or "When two hearts feel they could be as one/Ya just superglue 'em down until the fear is done." It's not hard to discern the good intentions here, but it takes some effort to ignore the clumsy, and sometimes downright gross, realization of them. However, at times the formula works; "Can't Stop Thinking" is an unbeatable hopeless-guy-in-love anthem, and "Hurt By Love" finds Llanas
telling his baby that "All those wishing stars/Hang out where you are" as an acoustic guitar jingles and twinkles merrily behind him. "Hurt By Love" is what the BoDeans
are trying for throughout this whole album, but they only get there once or twice.