True Love Always Clouds

To my ears, True Love Always have always been a quintessential Teenbeat band, thanks to a sound that borrows heavily from Unrest (although that might have had something to do with Mark Robinson's production on earlier releases) although Clouds does find them moving forward at least a few inches. These days, the band sound as if they've been listening to some South American music (although that influence is always understated), combining it with a heavy dose of early Prefab Sprout. And just like Paddy McAloon, front-man John Lindaman's songs use words to make a rhythm that drives the song along, and plays off the guitars in a very enjoyable way. But really, there's not a whole lot going on - they still prefer their old minimalist approach. With just guitars, drum and vocals, the songs are uncluttered and very appealing. Mark Robinson has been relegated to simply providing additional vocals (along with Hot Pursuit's Evelyn Hurley), giving some contrast to Lindaman's voice. The one complaint is that Clouds is a little brief at just 35 minutes, but with no weak songs at all, it is hard to be terribly upset with such a splendid album. (TeenBeat)