The Hopeless Romantics debut release She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not is a five-song EP about fleeting young love. It revolves around basic guitar playing that is done on an acoustic and vocals.
The first thing I noticed was the similarities to Conor Oberst. His inflection and delivery is undeniably similar at times. This is where the similarities to Oberst and Bright Eyes ends. Lyrically, Oberst utilizes metaphors, analogies and puns throughout his music. The lyrics on She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not feel like a one-sided conversation or stream of thought with simple language. There is no ambiguity as to what is being said.
The EP opens with “Afternoon” which is the highlight on the EP. It’s a catchy song especially the pre-chorus. He sings, “You’re all I taste, you’re all I think, you’re all I see, you’re all I’ll ever be.” Some lyrics like “Maybe go for a cup of coffee maybe smoke a bowl or two” have the undeniable resonance of young people maneuvering around a turbulent relationship.
I have to admit the initial lyrics on “Naked Poetry’ are sort of creepy especially juxtaposed against the innocent comforting way he sings. He sings “Your neck, my teeth, let’s meet somewhere in-between / Eager fingertips, a cute bra strap, let’s found out what’s underneath.” The song has its moments and the chorus is especially catchy. There are certain tropes he delivers vocally such as the way his voice trails off when he sings “I’m just saying that ever since we met I had this idea in my head.”
On “Your Short Hair” the vocalist laments about lost love. He sings about trying to forget her name by smoking and how he still loves her. Pretty basic stuff yet effective. They close with “Rose Colored Glasses” which raises questions about sex versus love.
At the end of the day She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not are pop songs that are carried by the lyrics and vocal performances. I would encourage the vocalist to be cognizant of the similarities to Oberst whether they are intentional or not because people will notice it. It reminded me of when I listened to Lower Dens and thought it was Victoria Legrand from Beach House.
Hopeless Romantics may have a future in music. Since the lyrics seem to be so rooted in his own experience as a young man I’d be interested as to what he will be singing about in ten years.
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