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Viva Voce - The Heat Can Melt Your Brain

  by Geraint Jones

published: 23 / 7 / 2005

Viva Voce - The Heat Can Melt Your Brain
Label: Full Time Hobby
Format: CD


Hit and miss off-kilter pop on second album from Portland, Oregon based duo, Viva Voce

Arriving some 9 months or so after its original US release, ‘The Heat Can Melt Your Brain’, Viva Voce’s second album, though their first to be released in the UK, arrives with good plaudits already in tow, which seems entirely appropriate for a band whose Italian name translates as “by word of mouth”. Originally from Muscle Shoals, Alabama, the band or more precisely, married couple Kevin and Anita Robinson, are now based in Portland, Oregon, since moving there several years ago. Opening with ‘Alive With Pleasure’, a previous single, it’s undoubtedly the album’s highlight, and is a stunningly effective example of the duo’s inventive, eclectic approach that belies its DIY conception. As the album progresses though, it’s evident things don’t hang together quite as well as that early promise suggested. While Viva Voce are undeniably clever and often display an appealing gift for off-kilter pop music, their occasionally propensity to be indulgent and grating can be contrastingly off-putting. ‘Center Of The Universe’ another former single, and reminiscent of the Flaming Lips at their loopiest, snaps at the heels of the duo’s most exhilarating moment and there’s no denying that ‘Mixtape=Love’ is 3 minutes of sublime dreaminess in anyone’s pop vocabulary. Elsewhere though, ‘Business Casual’ in particular completely fails to get off the drawing board, coming across as little more than half baked at best and downright annoying at worst! Fortunately the set closes in positive fashion, missteps mostly forgiven and forgotten. ‘They Never Really Wake Up’ clocking in at just over 6 minutes in length is a quite lovely extended slice of ethereality, its measured rippling bass motif and slow precise handclaps proving reassuringly hypnotic. Much like an English summer, I doubt there’s any likelihood anyone will get dangerously hot listening to this, yet there are still enough sunny moments to make it worth remembering.

Track Listing:-
1 Alive with Pleasure
2 Lesson No.1
3 Business Casual
4 The Lucky Ones
5 High Highs
6 Daylight
7 The Center of the Universe
8 Free Nude Celebs
9 Mixtape = Love
10 They Never Really Wake Up

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digital downloads



Viva Voce Loves You (2007)
Over sweet and sugary compilation from American husband and wife duo Viva Voce, which compiles together material from all three of their albums
Get Yr Blood Sucked Out (2006)

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