Published Nov 09, 2016Can you feel the love? Romare can, and he's injected as much of it as humanly possible into his latest record without it becoming sickly sweet. From the album and song titles to the vocal cuts and on to the sugary melodies, Love Songs: Part Two is an album steeped in romance.
It follows the same suit as his 2013 EP, Love Songs: Part One, and to a slightly lesser extent, his more recent album Projections. Yet, despite being strong releases in their own right, the two aforementioned seem more like warm-ups in the wake of Part Two. Romare has been quietly honing his craft in ever more subtle ways, and this is really what makes the record: the barely identifiable little hooks that seamlessly bob and weave into frame.
Part of this newfound finesse could lie in the fact that Romare played more instruments on this album, leaving vinyl samples to play a more minor role. The result is at times like listening to a '70s band with enough clairvoyance to sound modern-day. "New Love" — which, reportedly, Romare's mum cuttingly refers to as "the traffic-jam song" because of its relentless horns — has all the signs of a psychedelic group lost in a hypnotic jam session. Out-and-out highlight "Who Loves You?" is, meanwhile, an absolute masterpiece of layering, where every level complements the other. The funky bass line, perfectly echoed vocals and silvery keys all rise to a dazzling crescendo around the seven-minute mark, leaving one at a loss for what to play next.
Part Two is a serpentine tour of disco, psych-rock, folk and funk, with a touch of house and a generous glaze of unabashed love. It's Romare at his finest so far, and whets the appetite for whatever honeyed treasures Part Three might hold. (Ninja Tune)