Glass Candy: Love Love Love

Glass Candy
Love Love Love
Troubleman Unlimited

Since the canonization of Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville was arguably influenced by the sleevenotes' dirty pics and a (largely circumstantial) connection to the Rolling Stones, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame oughta start clearing space for a Glass Candy exhibit, right between should-be inductees Blondie and Siouxsie & the Banshees. Love Love Love not only boasts a slew of titillating snapshots of knockout frontwoman Ida No (peep 'em, pervs) but also a killer cover of the Stones' wearied "The Last Time." Sounding like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs without the trust-funded optimism (Ida & the No No Nos?), Glass Candy toss spunky melodies into a dub-streaked centrifuge and wait impatiently to see what slithers out.

On most of Love Love Love, guitar riffs coil like cobras, forcing Ida No to make like a mongoose and chase them back into their holes. This is her show, after all, whether she's shimmying around a wood-paneled basement in a tube top or sneering to the hesitant trot of the opener, "Crystal Migraine." She's a star (even if she's the only one who knows it), and, like many who consider fame their birthright, Ida expects to be dead long before she's gotten her due. In "Brittle Women," her necromatic lyrics include, "I shall spend my last days/Poring over photos and wearing pretty clothes" and "Laugh at my dying heart/One day you shall too cave in." Delivering her lines with gleeful abandon, she's asking us to dance on her glitter-sprinkled ashes to the cut's driving beat. And we don't mind if we do.

The audacious posturing (isn't it great when nobodies act like mega-stars?) reaches an excellent apex in the cover of the Stones' "The Last Time." Glass Candy completely cuts the original's center (Keith Richards's looping guitar riff, which prowled like a guard dog with wanderlust) and replaces it with Ida's reverb-soaked vocals, swapping resigned defiance for smug braggadocio (i.e., Mick Jagger circa Some Girls). Even though "The Last Time" and Love Love Love hinge on Ida's voice, she doesn't really have much of one. But its limited musical and emotional range can't conceal the magnetic attitude that pours from her lips whether they're pursed, pouty, or pleading. And when it works so well, who needs talent anyway?

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