Published Sep 12, 2014Toronto pop singer Lowell kicked 2014 off with the release of I Killed Sara V., a five-song EP that found her exorcising her difficult past and refining the knack for songwriting she first evinced on an EP with Apparatjik in late 2012. Just over six months later, she's returned with a full-length that makes good on the promise of her previous work.
Half of that work is here, anyway: the five Sara V. tracks are all present and good as ever — the stomping "88" and the elegiac title track, especially — and the remaining seven show that Lowell doesn't misfire. As with any good pop songwriter, her knack is for melody, and We Loved Her Dearly has it in spades. The chorus of single "I Love You Money," with its "Money hey, money woooo!" chorus, is especially catchy, but tracks like "LGBT" and "Tell Me What You Want Me To Do" are just as likely to get caught in one's mind. On ballads, Lowell is equally captivating: "Time I Lower Me Down" is a sweet album send-off, and the haunting, powerful refrain of "Summertime" — perhaps one of the best here — lingers long after the album's over.
The album's production, though very good, remains its weakest aspect (aside from the fairly meandering, solitary weak track "The Sun"). For an indie record, the sound of We Loved Her Dearly works nicely, but Lowell's ambitions — and her songwriting chops — are at another level, and better production would make them more emphatic. That will come with time; for now, We Loved Her Dearly is a great album from an artist that promises more greatness to come.
Read our recent feature on Lowell here. (Arts & Crafts)