There is a complex formula of musicality, humor, geekiness and spunk that – when properly computed – results in that which is Ludo. On their major label debut, You’re Awful, I Love You, Ludo throws listeners twelve tracks of powerful pop goodness that they’ll be humming along to long after the disc stops spinning.
Kicking things off is “Love Me Dead”, a live staple that’s been around for years. Ambitious, theatrical, and hook-filled, the song not only sets the tone for the album but for the band as well. Neither disappoint. Competing for attention are thundering drums and pulsing guitar of “Drunken Lament”, the adventure and choir-strong vocals of “Lake Pontchartrain”, and the dance-able rock of “Such As It Ends”. Not to be pigeonholed, the band also successfully takes on more intimate fare in “Streetlights” and “Topeka”.
Ludo is at their best, however, when taking a darker turn. The hurricane-force chorus of “Please” could move mountains, and its instrumentals the most hardened heart. Tight and driving, they perfectly echo the longing of the lyrics. “The Horror of Our Love” has incredibly dark lyrics surrounding obsessive, murderous love while offering one of the most beautiful musical releases at the song’s chorus. Calm and ethereal, it produces an opposite physical effect – the listener is left breathless while something tugs at them from deep within.
You’re Awful, I Love You drops 2/26/08.
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As a bonus, I was able to see Ludo perform several songs from You’re Awful, I Love You at their show at The Majestic in Madison, WI on January 25, 2008.
Standout tracks from the material included “Drunken Lament” with its tight drums and “Lake Pontchartrain” which is even fuller and more energetic live. “Go-Getter Greg” worked well, sounding a bit like Fountains of Wayne if they had unresolved anger issues. “Please” was epic, though not quite as nuanced as the album version. And of course there was “Love Me Dead”, but its success was no surprise as the dichotomous lyrics beg for a sing-along.
There was a good mix of songs from the band’s self-titled LP and their rock opera Broken Bride. “Good Will Hunting By Myself” never fails to entertain, “Hum Along” served as a big payoff for most of the crowd, and the Broken Bride material still sounds fresh with “Save Our City” continuing to be a crowd favorite and one of Ludo’s best live songs.
Saturday Night Thunderbolt
Save Our City
Girls On Trampolines
Scream, Scream, Scream
The Lamb and the Dragon
Love Me Dead
Good Will Hunting By Myself
Epic [Faith No More cover]