Sparkle & Crush by LOVEYOU (Self Released)
The Sparkle & Crush EP is eight nerdy, catchy and heartfelt songs written, played and produced by Andrew Stogel. Stogel is equally at home playing fuzzed-out guitar rock and piano-led balladry, all with a sense of playfulness and light on the ego. While this writer can hear some of the touchstones in LOVEYOU‘s songs, the exuberance Stogel and multi-instrumentalist DK put forth wipes away any feeling of homage and hits hard on the reasons why people feel the calling to be a musician as well as why music touches listeners.
Stogel’s quirky delivery fits just fine in these sometimes spastic, sometimes slower songs. On the swirling, uplifting opener I Want to Make You (Feel Happiness), he sings with a catch in his throat for the verses and a more soothing croon for the choruses, with passion and a touch of frustration in the sort-of ballad Awake At Last, and sings in a wonderful dramatic tone to offset the energetic guitars on You In The Void, even hitting a falsetto for the climax.
It’s a good sign when you go through your day and snippets of a song come to mind. The chunky distorted guitar stomps Strawberry Cough and Feel Like Me, with Stogel singing melodically in a higher register; the happy-sad pop of Outed The Time; the dark and noisy and dancy Your Love Is, with guitars slashing away to a catchy beat, all make for a memorable album.
At just 21, Andrew Stogel has a bright future and sounds like he’s already had life experiences that surely powered such a vibrant, fun and powerful collection of songs. Pick up LOVEYOU‘s Sparkle & Crush and know you’re not alone, your personal Lloyd Dobbler holding up the boombox to tell the world or your love interest how you truly feel.
(by Bret Miller)