Published Feb 24, 2016The short, punchy title to Brooklyn-based synth-pop quartet TEEN's third album says a lot about the group's music. Romance and optimism abound, but the name Love Yes fails to address the pervasive sense that, in their search of love — both physical and spiritual — TEEN aren't playing around. A more apt title would be Love Yes, Bullshit No.
Many of TEEN's synth-pop peers tend to let their instruments do the heavy lifting, relegating the music's more human element — vocals and lyrics — follow suit ("synth" is right there in the genre's name, after all). But on Love Yes, TEEN flip this script, building songs around sisters Teeny, Lizzie and Katherine Lieberson and Boshra AlSaadi's voices, and thus avoiding falling prey to genre tropes. So while '80s pop and '90s R&B aesthetics are pervasive across Love Yes's dozen tracks, TEEN never fall victim to genre clichés. In fact, when the quartet sing in unison, as they do on album highlight "All About Us," the group sound peerless and unstoppable.
Recorded outside of the Liebersons' hometown of Halifax, Love Yes bubbles with electricity at its best, bouncing from hook to hook. The record's second half can't quite keep up the pace, giving the album a lopsided feeling, though they still pack a thematic punch. Regardless, Love Yes is a remarkable step forward for TEEN, blending the stylistic influences of their first two records to present a seamless and singular voice. (Carpark)