Music Review: House of Love falls short on new album

House of Love, “She Paints Words in Red” (Cherry Red Records)

House of Love first emerged on the British music scene in the late 1980s and had some moderate success with singles like “Shine On” and “I Don’t Know Why I Love You.” Their early sound was somewhere between the Smiths and the Stone Roses, and in many ways the band’s attempts at breaking through to wider audiences were thwarted by those powerhouses of the British rock scene.

But House of Love always had talent. They struggled with drugs, bad producers and feuding among themselves. By 1993, the band had called it quits. They reunited in 2003, recorded an album in 2005 and now in 2013, have delivered “She Paints Words in Red.”

Unfortunately, their new album is lackluster and saccharine. Some of the melodies are sweet enough and not entirely unlistenable, like the opening track, “A Baby Got Back on its Feet,” which shows promise and cues the listener that maybe some more interesting material will follow.

But the remaining 11 songs are riddled with cliches, especially “Hemingway” and “Money Man.” The tracks will valiantly vie for your attention for the three minutes or so of their recorded existence with competent musicianship and decent production, but ultimately will fail.

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