Release Date: Oct 12, 2004
Record label: Merge
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Love Songs exudes the kind of focus and cohesiveness most bands only achieve after years of playing together, but this is American Music Club's first new album since 1994's San Francisco. The latter was a muddled affair, but Love Songs looks likely to take its place alongside such AMC benchmarks as Mercury or Everclear. Perhaps the lay-off has energised them, since their gift for stitching together music from all points of the compass survives heroically intact.
Reunion albums are often tricky affairs, usually based around negative circumstances (typically solo career slumps) rather than positive ones, so it's neither uncommon nor unwise for fans to approach them with a degree of caution. When American Music Club called it quits in 1995, most folks were expecting an impressive solo career from vocalist and songwriter Mark Eitzel, but while he failed to capture the brass ring of a breakthrough commercial success (no great surprise, given the downbeat tenor of his music, though Warner Bros. seemed to be hoping otherwise at first), the greatest problem that's dogged him since AMC's demise has been his difficulty in finding a consistent set of sympathetic musical collaborators.
Seldom has a musician born a more egocentric MO than American Music Club’s Mark Eitzel. His music has never been acceptable background fodder. His off-kilter voice and free-associative lyrics assume front and center, always. The aural backdrop can alter the context, but the content remains the same.