Lovebettie - The Red Door EP
Pittsburgh quartet Lovebettie practice their own proprietary blend of rock, pop and cutting edge soul. Dubbed “Swagger Rock”, Lovebettie is one of the hottest acts in western Pennsylvania. Showing a distinctive musical talent, Lovebettie struggles with their more commercial instincts on The Red Door EP. Produced by Jim Wirt (Incubus, Fiona Apple, Hoobastank), The Red Door EP is the story of a band still trying to figure out their musical direction, but full of enough talent to succeed whichever they choose.
The Red Door EP opens with "Red Roses", a catchy rock n roll number with a walking bass line that grabs hold of listeners right out of the gate. Alexandra Naples sings in a powerful and appealing voice over an angular guitar style that is appealing. "Not Quite Right" opens with a killer bass riff that drives the song. The stolid but catchy pop/rock chorus is a perfect complement here, filled with vocal harmonies that fill out the sound. "Are You Out There" starts out with just piano and grows into a power ballad. It's a bit bland and formulaic, but solid. "Other Side" is a middle of the road album track that gets stuck in the momentum of "Are You Out There". The Red Door EP closes with "Monsters", a catchy, guitar-driven number. Naples is in fine voice, but the production choices here do her no favors.
Lovebettie shows real potential on The Red Door EP, dancing on the edge of a highly original sound at times, but ultimately getting sucked into the formulaic sounds of Edge radio bands. Much of this seems to be more of an issue of production choices overriding musical ones. The Red Door EP wants to be itself, but ends up being a little too much like too many other songs on the radio to truly stand out. Alexandra Naples has a distinctive voice, but is too often hidden in the wash of sound here. Bassist Dan Mulkeen is truly fantastic, and deserves a little more opportunity to make some hay like he does on the first two tracks. If Lovebettie commits to the commercial sound they'll be very successful as a band. If they commit to the more creative sides that are hinted at on The Red Door EP, they'll be very successful as artists.
Rating: 3 Stars (Out of 5)
Learn more about Lovebettie at www.myspace.com/lovebettie or www.facebook.com/lovebettie. The Red Door EP is available digitally from Amazon.com and iTunes.