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ALBUM REVIEW: Loveland Duren, “Bloody Cupid”

bloody cupid cover with sticker

I’ll start by being concise – this is one of the year’s best albums, hands down.  Memphis legends Van Duren and Vicki Loveland team up to release a 12-track gem that runs the spectrum.  From jazzy and soulful to acoustic and introspective, this album is a sheer delight on every level.  Quality production, razor sharp musicianship, top-notch songwriting and incredible vocals from both Mr. Duren and Ms. Loveland makes this an absolute must have.

“Crash Landing” opens the album and grabs you immediately.  With that special Memphis-soulful groove, it’s a perfect get-down with cool jazz inflections and Vicki Loveland’s voice is beyond description – it gives you chills in the best way.  “Lines In The Sand” is perfect pop; the vocal interplay between the two singers is seamless and is an instant classic – an early highpoint.  “Now Will Do” is a country romp with sweet harmonies and a nice use of fiddle, mandolin and slide guitar.  “Birthmarks” has a great lead vocal from Van on the opening verse with some neat chord shifts and a well-placed use of feedback; the trading of vocals on the last verse is masterful.  “Forgive You Forgive Me – again, Vicki Loveland’s vocals grip you from the opening of this crisp, acoustic-driven number.  Subtle sax and a warm, jazzy guitar solo compliments the violin and tight rhythm.  “There Goes The Floor”‘s acoustic flavor is carried by emotional vocals, bongos and soaring violins, reaching an apex with its soaring harmonies and “Private Sky” has celestial string arrangements, which color this powerful ballad enhanced with its gentle lead vocals and sweet harmonies.

I don’t want to give away the secrets of every track, but suffice it to say that Bloody Cupid is one of the finest, most cohesive collections of original music I’ve had the pleasure of hearing in a long time.  This album has everything and from the moment you begin listening, you’re in for a a great aural experience. In a word – get it.




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Rob Ross has been, for good, bad or indifferent, involved in the music industry for over 30 years - first as guitarist/singer/songwriter with The Punch Line, then as freelance journalist, producer and manager to working for independent and major record labels. He resides in Staten Island, New York with his wife and cats; he works out a lot, reads voraciously, loves Big Star and his orange Gretsch. Doesn't that make him neat?