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ATP! Album Review: Candy Hearts – All The Ways You Let Me Down

When Candy Hearts debuted “I Miss You,” the remarkably catchy first single off their upcoming LP All The Ways You Let Me Down, it was obvious that the record’s June 10th release could not come soon enough.  The song’s quietly distorted intro followed by commanding drums and muted guitar begs the listener to get in his/her car, roll the windows down, blast the track, and drive away. The success of the album as a whole is astounding – All The Ways You Let Me Down’s perfect mix of vocalist Mariel Loveland’s songwriting and producer Chad Gilbert’s expert input makes for an enormous effort from a young band promising to be the next big thing.

On “The Dream’s Not Dead,” Candy Hearts hum along to a chorus so infectious that it may require medicine to remove the tune from your head. The band has certainly figured out a formula for writing the quintessential pop/rock song. “I could count all the ways that you let me down / Let my head hang low ‘cause I keep you around,” Loveland admits on the album’s title track. The singer makes it clear that she’s unafraid to share her experiences, giving All The Ways You Let Me Down considerable depth.

Arguably the best pairing of songs on the album, “Michigan” and “Coffee With My Friends” hold down the midpoint of the LP, complementing each other with honest emotions on the ups and downs of life heard through Loveland’s raw yet optimistic, sugary sweet vocals.

“I’m sorry I slept in your bed / I just wanted to feel wanted,” Loveland pleads on “Somethings Missing.”  Featuring a conversational chorus between the singer and vocalist Jordan Pundik of New Found Glory, the track is able to pry apart a moment of uncertainty in time, and in doing so turns the traditional sad song into a well-told relatable true story. Following comes “Brooklyn Bridge,” a head-bobbing upbeat offering that will surely serve as a solid soundtrack for warm July nights spent with friends.

All The Ways You Let Me Down comes full circle with closure from the album’s finale “Top Of Our Lungs.” Maybe it’s the way Loveland seems to reflect not only on a particular memory but the lyrical adventure of the entire album, or her echo of the line “Why not?” – but the song resonates with an uplifting feeling of just saying “screw it.”

Simply put, the record doesn’t take several listens to get into. In fact, it’s hard to get through it in its entirety because each song is worthy of repeating over and over. Candy Hearts’ latest effort stands as a top contender for not only album of the summer, but album of the year.  Loveland and Co. are able to capture the essence of youth, love, and heartbreak in flawless fashion. All The Ways You Let Me Down is a rare, uniquely liberating pop/rock masterpiece. 


Laurel Weber

All The Ways You Let Me Down will be released on June 10th via Violently Happy/Bridge Nine Records.

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