Lovex – State Of Mind

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Review by Brian McGowan

Jiffel

Often compared to fellow Finns, HIM and The 69 Eyes, Lovex have assiduously avoided international fame. State Of Mind is unlikely to change that. Not because it’s an inferior album but simply because 1, it’s hard to pigeonhole, and such albums notoriously get a bad press, and 2, it marks a move away from the gloomy, gothic symphonic rock of previous releases toward something brighter, but ultimately less substantial. Finland, of course, is a country allegedly “locked in minor key melancholy”, and judging by the output of Finnish rock bands, it would also appear to be an artistic choice as much as a cultural norm.

With that in mind, State Of Mind sees Lovex attempting to unshackle themselves from the straitjacket of expectation. A move toward the light. The “light” being an epic, electronic poprock sound, shoehorned into a contemporary production template.  The rap/dance/rock ‘Action’ is the one that will create the controversy, with words like “sell” and “out” being used freely in the music magazines. ‘Don Juan’ and ‘Yours To Keep’ slip seamlessly into hooky urban pop. You can easily tell they’re striving for more of a mainstream appeal. Even then, that melancholy undertone bleeds through… suggesting it’s been in the Finnish DNA all along. A lot of the time it works a treat. The anthemic ‘Edge Of Sanity’, the postmodern ‘When The Lights Go Down’ and the chart-aimed ‘Miracle’ mesh the melancholy and the upbeat, weaving good tunes, vocal harmonies and sleek hooks together, creating a colourful whole.

It’s plainly the sound of a more mature, focused band, stretching themselves into areas that just might bring more recognition. But there are times when a lack of substance – fire, passion – leaves you wanting more. That said, all credit to them for branching out, whatever the motivation.

Lovex 20136 out of 10

Track Listing:

  1. Fighter
  2. Action
  3. Don Juan
  4. Yours To keep
  5. Bad
  6. Edge Of Sanity
  7. Walking Away
  8. When The Lights Go Down
  9. Miracle
  10. Save A Life (bonus track)