CD Review: Love Willows – Hey! Hey!


The Love Willows
Hey! Hey!

by Al Kaufman

It must be the dour economic times that makes people want to listen to unabashedly happy music. Last year we had the Submarines out of LA, and this year it's time for Atlanta's Love Willows. The duo of singer Hope Partlow and multi-instrumentalist and singer Ryan Wilson are so perky they make the B-52s seem like Peter Murphy.

Wilson and Partlow are a couple who used to live in the attic of Wilson's mother's house. He built a studio up there and that is where Hey! Hey!was recorded. Much of the equipment they used was paid for with money Partlow made building cabinets for rapper T.I.’s new house in Atlanta. These are kids you want to like.

And their message is so gosh darn positive, you feel like a great big sourpuss if you say anything negative about them. "Hey, my life is great/I can't complain," belts out Partlow in the jazzy opener "A Day in My Life," but by the time she gets to the next song, the even more optimistic "Keep Your Head Up," diabetics need to flee for fear of slipping into a coma. They redeem themselves on the third cut, "Falling Faster." Pure pop with the pretty melody, it is the best thing on the CD, even if it is aimed at the type of folks who are smitten by the vampires with hearts of gold in Twilight.

The rest is more pop of lesser quality; happy, jaunty tunes that sum up the emotions of 15-year-old girls. "Strut My Stuff," which has been heard on The Real World: Hollywood, sounds like Gwen Stefani lite. A simple, cocky tune that unintentionally sums up the soulless, arrogant jerks that participate in the MTV show.

Listening to Love Willows is like going to a carnival. It's fun, happy, and dizzyingly colorful. But by the end of the day you're hot and tired, and the rides and cotton candy have left you slightly nauseated.


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