Lonely Hearts Paper Tapes

Though the promotional material that accompanies the Lonely Hearts’ debut full-length album trumpets the Nashville band’s apparent musical education in all things Beatles and Americana, much of Paper Tapes is buried so deep beneath a slick radio sheen as to make any mention of such comparisons all but irrelevant. Indeed, chief songwriter Will Holland seems far more interested in composing bland songs for the imagined masses than plumbing his favourites for inspiration. Album opener "Passive Aggressive,” for example, chugs along like the Killers without the synth, while "Heartbreaker” is an Oasis power ballad with lyrics even the Gallagher brothers might have deemed worthy of a rewrite. The best songs on Paper Tapes are those that are the most noticeably unforced, such as the updated Stones country-honk of "Love Comes Quickly” and the pleasantly melodic "Love and Politics.” Too often, though, the band veer perilously close to outright mediocrity, as on the faux-epic "Weary Eyes,” whose melody unfortunately recalls that of Lionel Richie’s ’80s prom staple "Hello.” Which, come to think of it, is almost reason enough to buy this album. (Tooth and Nail)