IT’S LOVE, the second album from L.A.-based kindie duo Ellen & Matt is packed with cute, retro-flavored goodness, just as the cover art would indicate. The rainbow-colored digipack conjures thoughts of the 70s and early 80s, while reminding me of what the outside of Toys R Us used to look like (also part inspiration for the color scheme of this website, I think). Not quite as even or as polished as certain genre peers, there’s a rawness that I really dig, epecially when the rock is fully cranked up.
Perhaps it’s Ellen, or maybe it’s Matt… but there’s two distinct versions of Ellen & Matt at play here. There’s a mellow, acoustic-driven band that performs soothing numbers like “Sleepover,” “Shadow,” and “Little Songbird.” Then there’s this driving, often-firey alt-rock band that kicks out the jams on songs like “Tickle Bug,” “It’s Love,” and the rodent-ode “Capybara.” Come to think of it, there’s sort of a third when the funk-driven grooves of “Drive Thru” (my favorite track on the record) kick in.
As for the toddler’s take? She was with Dad in leaning toward the up-tempo tracks on the disc, while the slower numbers stopped the rock. IT’S LOVE might be a tad uneven, but it’s still a lot of fun.
The Rock Father Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars
FTC Disclosure: A copy of this album was provided to The Rock Father by the artist for the purpose of review consideration. All opinions are that of James Zahn, while taking into account the reaction of a toddler. Does anyone actually read these “disclosures?”