Monday, November 8, 2010

Love Letters in a 4.5 Inch Circle of Plastic: Luvplant's Luvolution

Love.  Love is what makes the world go ‘round.  Love is the subject of many a song, and is quite feasibly the whole reason music even exists.  Love is found in pretty much anything and everything; from romance to politics, beverage choices to musical choices. When I happen upon music that gives me love and opens my heart, I am a very happy woman.

Luvplanet, the Sonoma County, California band with a big heart and even bigger sound reaches out to me with messages of positivity, love and some serious shredding. Their 4th album, Luvolution, makes my heart thump with every song I listen to, making me smile and move my legs to the rhythm like I just can’t sit still.

Nicole Sutton-Left
Mark McGee-Right

When I mention a BIG sound, in regards to Luvplanet, I mean that there is a depth to the music, a thickness to the sound that seems to fill me.  Each of the 12 songs on Luvplanet's new CD are so dense and juicy with layers of texture.  Whether it’s Nicole Suttons soaring and powerful vocals, Mark McGee's vocals and sweltering guitar licks, the solid back beat laid down by Scott McKenzie or Tommy Sisco’s thumping, driving bass, the result is inevitably HUGE.

The stand-out songs on Luvolution tend to be the ones that beckon the listener inside the structures of the songs so that they are encircled in sound and words that give greater understanding of what life is about.  Isn’t that how it should be with music? A song should take us places within our own psyche and help us express who we are and why we are alive.  At least, that’s what I think. And Luvolution, in both music and lyrics, brings me to that place in my mind where positivity thrives and understanding of the human experience is given light through song.

Tommy Sisco-Left
Scott McKenzie-Right

The opening track, “Luvolution” sets the fast and furious pace for the entire album as Mark McGee’s slicing guitar clears the way for Nicole Sutton’s soaring vocals to start to tell the story of Luvpanet, “Without Warning, it comes in and I feel alive again…”

My Favorite songs on the Album include “Forever”, “Live”, and the track “Be Myself” for it’s inspiring lyrics about creating and vowing for self-love, “All I can I do is be myself, it’s gotta be good enough, no more or less than who I am”.  Its words like that that we all need to hear a lot more often.

Luvplanet’s music thrives on the cohesion within the band. Even though most of the songs are written by McGee and Sutton, bassist Tommy Sisco and drummer Scott McKenzie each bring their own style and grace to the songs, so it never feels like Luvolution has the focus on just the primary songwriters, but each member carries their respective weight. On the track “All For You”, one can hear Sisco’s bass warming us up for the mounting pleasure to come within the song. With “Virtual Life”  & “C’mon” the pace is set, giving Scott McKenzie’s technical and fluid drumming a chance to shine.

Luvplanet recorded Luvolution at Audio Voyage Studios in Livermore, California with Mark McGee as producer. “Mark is an amazing producer and we have worked with some great engineers at great studios.” Nicole Sutton, on the preparation and recording of Luvolution says, “We try to go in totally prepared but we usually end up having a few songs that we write or finish writing in the studio. That's always fun because it's fresh and exciting to capture the moment….
The (songs) are usually inspired by a feeling or a moment, it could be anything, and then we just try to listen and stay true to the song and what it wants to say.”

One thing that is truly to love about Luvplanet is that every song on Luvolution will inspire singing out with harmonies, even if you are not even a singer. I sometimes feel that I myself am part of the album as it taps into what I think about the world and how love and positivity can go hand and hand with rocking rock and roll.

Moonmama Says: YES!

Thanks forever to my dear editor Daniel Rauck, who is a hard rocker himself and makes my words so clear and pretty! THANKS DAN!

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