Review Summary: While straddling the line between mediocrity and brilliance, You're Awful, I Love You seems to be a step in the right direction.
There is a time in every bands career in which they seem to straddle that line between brilliance and mediocrity. At some point in a band’s career they are going to fall into one of these categories. At this point in time, Ludo is straddling that line. With a relatively weak debut album and a very impressive EP, Ludo released their third album, You’re Awful, I Love You, which may be a step in the direction for this up and coming group looking to make a name for themselves.
This album is a fun, poppy release and a big change from their EP, Broken Bride. While this album has its highlights, quite a few actually, it might be better to start with some its flaws. While there are many points on the album where the band is able to pull the listener in and gain their attention, there are points on the record where one might find themselves skipping ahead to another song. Please, Such As It Ends, Mutiny Below, and In Space are really the weak points of the record and often take away from the album as a whole due to the fact that they are often wedged in between some of the more enjoyable tracks on the album. Another song which takes away from this album in its own way is Go-Getter Greg. This is not to say that this is necessarily a bad track it just doesn’t seem to really fit in. While the whole album has a generally poppy and fun feel to it, this song goes over the top a bit and comes off as immature and out of place on this record. The only other flaw with this album is that at times the album has an awkward mixing of emotions on it. While it is obviously not a bad thing for a record to “rise and fall” with its emotion, this album often falls too hard with tracks like The Horror of Our Love, a softer, deeper track being preceded by a song like Go-Getter Greg. These segues sometimes give the album a rough emotional feel and take away from what could be a superb piece of work by Ludo.
Now that all the grievances are out, the highlights of this record need to be expressed. Overall this is a very enjoyable album and most of the songs are well written and easy to get into. The tracks that are a must-listen are The Horror of Our Love, Love Me Dead, Topeka, Scream Scream Scream, and Lake Pontchartrain. The Horror of Our Love may be Ludo’s best song to date; it is a dark, metaphor-filled love song that makes for an enjoyable listen and interesting mix of feelings. Throughout the song the listener moves from appalled (in a good way…) to impressed and back. This song is also a great display of what frontman Andrew Volpe is truly capable of as a musician and lyricist. Another key track on this album is Love Me Dead, it is one of the more poppy sounding tracks on the record and it is a bit corny at times but that sort of fits with Ludo’s style and they pull off this song in an impressive fashion. Topeka is also an amazing track with the resonating chorus of, “Every saint has past, every sinner has a future…” sticking with the listener long after the song ends. As far as the other songs on the album go, Lake Pontchartrain is a display of the bands ability to tell a story with their music, which is also clearly evident on their previously released EP and Scream Scream Scream is a vastly underrated track on the album which further display’s Volpe’s ability to produce quality music when he wants to.
All in all, You’re Awful, I Love You is a good, solid album by Ludo. It is not particularly amazing nor is it anywhere near awful. It is mildly disappointing following the release of Broken Bride but it is still a display of this band’s ability to write and perform quality music. The album certainly has its flaws but it also contains enough quality work to give Ludo another step toward making themselves a success.