Review: The Lone Bellow Make Music for the Masses

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

The Lone Bellow/Love Songs For Losers/Dualtone
Four out of Five Stars

Love Songs For Losers isn’t nearly the downcast set of songs its title might imply. The Lone Bellow’s fifth studio album, it’s a set of songs that evoke optimism and uncertainty in equal measure, and in so doing, a determination to persevere despite today’s troubling times. In that regard, it reflects the feelings of many people in this day and age, that is, a desire to move forward even in the midst of struggle and strife.

That then gives the album its yin and yang. “Honey” makes for an anthemic opener, all upbeat intent that suggests a positive path toward the future. “I’m In Love,” “Gold” and “I’m In Love” suggest the same, propelling the promise of reclaiming life’s rewards. That said, clouds continue to hang low on the horizon, and consequently, there’s no mistaking the distance and divide evoked by songs such as “Dreaming,” “Move,” “Great Divide,” and “Wherever Your Heart Is.”

On the other hand, the sentiment can be deceptive. “Homesick” belies the downcast designs suggested by the title, while ringing with resilience and resolve instead.

Credit also goes to producers Aaron Dessner of The National and eight-time Grammy-winner Dave Cobb, both of whom helped steer the band to this remarkable confluence of feelings and frailty, capturing a sound that rings with a kind of benign beauty throughout. These are songs that ring with shared sensitivity, affirming the fact that the challenges of life are universal to us all, and that in fact, there are no absolutes as far as emotion or intent. 

In that regard, Love Songs For Losers makes a most indelible impression, one that lingers well after the last notes finally fade away. It’s a decidedly evocative album, one that ought to give hope and comfort to all those that may feel adrift in uncertainty and sadness while confirming the fact that they’re not alone. In that regard, it provides a shared service to us all.

Photo by Eric Ryan Anderson / Missing Piece Group

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