Review Summary: I'll escape from reality
Before the opening chords of "Behind the Garage" are even played, Eric's Trip have already laid out their scene. They say you should never judge a book by its cover, an album by its artwork, or however you’d like to interpret the phrase, but Love Tara
almost recommends-- no, insists-- that the listener take a closer look. The simplicity of the plain, black and white photographic image fails to detract from the emotions it conceals--- the love, the sorrow, the desperation, the secrecy
The number of secrets that spread themselves throughout every note, riff, and melody of Love Tara
is nearly overwhelming. There’s the obvious, of course, as “Secret for Julie” so earnestly stresses, but it’s not as straightforward as Julie Doiron makes it seem. Fresh off a relationship with fellow vocalist Rick White, Doiron’s voice remains admirably steady throughout the song’s three minutes as she recalls the events following their breakup, but the details remain somewhat cloudy. What secret did White keep from her? What exactly happened behind the garage? Each track plays own like its own chapter of a novel, revealing to the listener only what White and Doiron, in their fragile, entwined voices, choose not to conceal. Each revealing one more secret.
White and Doiron are consistently backed by a wall of noise that slips in and out at the perfect time to complement the duo’s pop sensibilities. “Follow" and “Anytime You Want” are prime examples, both distortion-laden tracks placed perfectly in between low-key acoustic masterpieces. The hooks are simple and quick, but despite their sloppiness never forgo their precision, as both the rhythm section and the vocalist combo never miss a beat. Both are tame, however, in comparison to "Blinded," where all of Dorion's pent-up frustration spills out into a album-highlight romp, a spastic cut which contrasts beautifully with the peaceful, fragile demeanor of "May 11" just three minutes prior. As always the band's internal romantic struggles take the forefront lyrically, but here it's taken to a whole new level with ominous repeating shouts of "I find it hard to breathe" slowly degrading into shrieks of pain.
The sheer honesty of Love Tara
makes it near impossible to fail to relate to, but it's the simplicity of songs like "Stove" and "Allergic to Love" that really lend the album its charm. Perhaps the latter is the best evidence of this, a serene closer in which White and Doiron seemingly put aside every problem from each and every song to harmonize one last time:
I'd like to talk to you, like to let you know... just what I'm thinking