ARTS

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November 18, 2003

No twinkling in these Stars

I'm not in the habit of beginning reviews with references to reviews in other publications, but in this case, I must make an exception. The very reason that I took interest in this album is because of the acclaim it received from the British press (as well as the American indie media) last year. This praise now completely confounds me.

I take issue first of all with the critical rhetoric surrounding Heart, which seems to take two different forms: a) this album is sappy and lacks innovation, but it's a guilty pleasure and b) this album is sappy, but there's an underlying current of intelligence in the lyrics, which is its saving grace.

The former implies a lack of self-respect, while the latter speaks of seriously low standards. To be fair, I would be ashamed if I liked this album, too. And the lyrics are indeed "intelligent," if your gold standard is high school poetry.

In short, Heart is saccharine-sweet easy listening music for the indie crowd. The tunes are MOR pop that would not sound out of place on Top 40 radio, and the lyrics are trite, sentimental, and embarrassing. Avoid this as you would adult contemporary.