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Heaven, ‘Telepathic Love’ – Album Review

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Heaven have solid songs but zero passion. The Brooklyn dream-pop band’s debut LP, ‘Telepathic Love,’ is tuneful but lifeless, with nine solid hooks strangled by lethargic vocals and mind-numbing reverb. There’s no emotion, no urgency, no dynamics.

Heaven haven’t written the same song nine times, but they’ve performed nine songs in exactly the same way. The guitars, the voices, the synths, the barely-there percussion — everything bleeds together into one homogenous swirl of boredom. The songs neither rise nor fall but simply exist. Pretty? Sure. But is that enough?

And it’s not as if the songs strike any chords on a lyrical level. “Come on, sweetheart, now / Kiss the morning goodbye” sings frontman Matt Sumrow — in a stoned, off-key moan — on opener ‘Colors in the Whites of Your Eyes.’ It’s as if the band arrived in their Brooklyn studio armed not with songs but a solitary mental atmosphere. And it’s a shame, too, since plenty of otherwise-striking moments (the hugely whistleable jangle-pop title-track) are basically chained to their draining sonic backdrops.

Because of their love for mountainous reverb, wobbly tremolo guitars and vaguely choral harmonies, critics tend to lump the band in with such revered shoegaze and dream-pop acts as the Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine. But whereas those bands drifted blissfully and colorfully into orbit, Heaven mostly just drift.

4 out of 10 rating

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