Release Date: May 6, 2013
Record label: Luv Luv Luv
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
Gabriel Bruce’s debut album comes with glowing praise from Spector’s Fred MacPherson, who has known the Londoner since they were teenagers. MacPherson previously told NME that Bruce is “brilliant”, before adding: “He writes lyrics that I wish I’d written, and will probably try and steal at some point.” Bruce’s debut album has certainly been a long time coming – he originally started out in a London band called Loverman – but the wait has been more than worth it. The first thing that sticks out when you listen to Gabriel Bruce is unquestionably his deep, brooding voice.
What a terrible album Love in Arms is. The beats are tinny, the synth sounds tacky; when the brass blasts in, the debt to Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band is glaring – though the punch-the-air chorus of Cars Not Leaving is just as likely to make you think of Whitesnake in pop mode. The lower Gabriel Bruce's voice plummets, the closer he gets to being a spoof Leonard Cohen, his musings on sex, death and sleep paralysis so overblown they're likely to induce giggles.
Deep. This feels like the most appropriate adjective to use for ‘Love In Arms’, Gabriel Bruce’s long-awaited debut. From his lip-curling baritone, to the self consciously wry yet earnest, almost evangelical lyrics, to a sonic palette that sounds somewhere between Nick Cave and a latter-day David Bowie, this is an album that has a lot going on.Take songs three to six.