It certainly has been an eventful past couple of years for Love and Theft. They score a Top 10 hit on the Lyric Street label with their 2009 release “Runaway,” release their debut album World Wide Open… and then the label folds, they lose their record deal, and Brian Bandas leaves leaves the group. Fast-forward to 2011, and Love and Theft resurfaces in duo form on RCA with the new single “Angel Eyes.”
This is a familair combination: Catchy melody meets fluffy, insubtantial lyrics. Yes, it’s basically another factory-assembled radio hit. On the positive side, the production is surprisingly light and tasteful, which fits well with the infectious melody. It’s hardly the sound I would expect from the act behind “Runaway,” and it almost even feels like country music – almost. In a contemporary 21st-century context, that is.
I would normally give credit for production staying out of the way of the lyrics, but in this case, there really isn’t anything worth staying out of the way of. These lyrics are so rehashed it ain’t funny – a one-dimensional character sketch of a rebel girl just like all the other nameless, faceless rebel girls in contemporary country songs. Conveniently, they also found places to insert clever little shout-outs to bonfires, tailgates, and “Sunday mornin’.” Wink-wink, country radio.
The catchy factor may carry the song a short way, but in the long run, a lack of creativity sinks the song such that the melody and production can’t save it.