The Juliana Theory: Love (Epic)

The piano, three guitars, and three-part harmonies are some of the distinquishing features of Love’s tracks.

After scoring impressive sales numbers with two independently released CDs, the Juliana Theory gained the attention of several labels before securing a deal with Epic. Largely known on the East Coast, this Pennsylvanian quintet is now extensively touring the rest of the country after multiple live performances in both England and Canada. It appears that after a few years of hard work and determination, the Juliana Theory’s time has finally and officially arrived.

That hard work is easily heard on their major-label debut, Love, which contains moments of brilliance that shine bright enough to almost necessitate the wearing of sunglasses.

With influences ranging from grunge to psychedelia to dark ’80s pop, the disc’s 14 songs mainly fall into the edgy, alt-rock category.The catchiness of the first single, ”Do You Believe Me,” and “Repeating Repeating” highlight Love’s first half, but the stronger material lies mostly in its second half, with songs like the hypnotic “In Conversation” and the acoustically tender “As It Stands.” The CD goes out with quite a bang on the final cut, “Everything,” which has an unbelievably cool extended ending that builds up to a scorching climax: the defining moment of the entire disc. Very powerful stuff.

The piano, three guitars, and three-part harmonies are some of the distinquishing features of Love’s tracks. Songwriter, lead guitarist, and vocalist Brett Detar often sounds like a slightly less whiny version of Our Lady Peace’s Raine Maida. Fans of that band, along with bands like Tonic and Lifehouse, will celebrate the discovery of the Juliana Theory’s music.

Mixed by the legendary Tom Lord-Alge and produced by former Talking Head Jerry Harrison, Love is a finely crafted collection of attention-grabbing music that should, and hopefully will, put the Juliana Theory way ahead of their competition. www.thejulianatheory.com

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