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July 15, 2024

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Letters To Cleo
GO! (Revolution Records)

By: Alex Steininger

Letters to Cleo are back with their third album, GO! After having a hit on MTV, taking some time off to relax, and hearing constant break-up rumors being spread throughout their hometown, they got into the studio and wrote their best album to date. Eleven heart felt pop songs tear up your speakers, as the emotion and real-life anguish of everyday life is dealt with on Kay Hanley's (Letters to Cleo's lead singer/songwriter) own terms.

"I Got Time" kicks off the CD. First you hear a soft guitar climbing its way through the song, with whispering vocals backing it up. "That's the prettiest picture that I have ever seen/so I stole it for myself/so you could see just what I mean/and this alluvial fan it represents my life/I've got the strength to move," softly sings Kay Hanley, before the band jumps in and the energy runs wild. The vocals are the key to the song, leading it through life, love, and hopefulness. Kay's vocals are strong and beautiful. The guitar also makes a strong presence, jumping between different pop hooks that have you deeper and deeper in their palms each time. The drums add intensity in parts, while other parts they follow the guitars quick leads, and help pull off amazingly refreshing pop hooks. "Because of You" starts off with a quick slab of the bass, then the rest of the band jumps right in and takes you from the beginning. The bass makes its presence ever present in this song, and it obtains a stronghold on the music and helps carry you into a deeper state of emotion with its thick, muscular form and big, bold playing style. Chunky and slippery, you don't lose a beat when the bass is the leader. Once again though, Kay's vocals are the main focus of the song. She lives, she loves, she loses, and she wins just like every other person on earth. Her vocals are personal, but they also can be pulled into your own heart and related to your own situations. Everything she's felt, you also feel through her lyrics. A very talented vocalist, as well as a talented lyricist, she pulls off everything sweetly and classy. "Veda Very Shining" starts out with loud drums, a whirling guitar, and pounding bass lines. Then it quickly drops into a pop hook that drags you right into the center of the chaos. The hooks are plentiful, the music is innocent and sweet, yet powerful and crunchy at the same time. Very versatile, if your in a happy mood the song can stand for hope, but if your in a depressed state of mind the song can remind you of more depression. One of the best songs on the album, it has the strength to draw you in and keep your mind very attentive throughout. "Sparklegirl" is another album standout full of hooks that will never let go. From the first line Kay sings, your drawn in by the tremendous energy the song has. The chorus packs even more power, emotion, and heart felt emotions that will send you to the canvas. These guys know how to make beautifully composed pop songs, and they can carry them through with precision. "Disappear" starts off soft, and gives you the impression its going to be a very sad song about lost love, but then it picks up when the drums bang, singling the tempo change. The song quickly picks up from there and dives right into powerful pop beats. Then the song changes into a softer state of mind when it hits the chorus, before quickly picking back up again when the next verse hits. Unlike other bands, Letters to Cleo starts the disc with power, and ends it with even more. The energy level stays constant throughout the disc, and you feel every word that comes out of Kay Hanley's mouth.

Letters to Cleo deliver picture perfect pop songs with lyrics that are generic in away that they can appeal to everyone, but they still keep the very personal edge in which Kay wrote them. Versatile and beautiful, Kay takes you through a course of real-life tales, while the rest of Letters to Cleo bang out the melodies and hooks the keep your ears listening. A definite A! These guys, if anything ever goes right, should once again be chart toppers in the coming months!

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