Ludo - Prepare the Preparations

Album cover
Pop Punk, Power Pop
Island Records
Ludo
Prepare the Preparations
Ludo - Prepare the Preparations Review rating:
3.5
User rating:
Average: 4.8 (12 votes)

Some guys are just too smart to be in a band.  That, or they just have an overactive imagination.  For Ludo's Andrew Volpe, that is a thin line he chooses to walk.  With a new album full of witty lyricism about robots, skeletons, and (what else?) love, Volpe has established himself as a master storyteller, albeit an underrated one.  But is Ludo a one-hit pony?  Do they have it in them to pen another song as instantly catchy as "Love Me Dead," or are they doomed to join the likes of Milli Vanilli?  Well, if Prepare the Preparations is any indication we just don’t know the answer.

Prepare the Preparations doesn’t necessarily pick up where You’re Awful, I Love You left off.  While You’re Awful, I Love You was filled with hook-laden tracks such as “Love Me Dead” and “Topeka,” the band drop most of the hooks for a more experimental sound.  The result is a fusion of everything from Muse to Danny Elfman.  Opener “Too Tired To Wink” sets the tone for the album with drummer Matt Palermo carrying the opening moments before the whole band kicks in with a solid pop punk track.  “Cyborgs vs. Robots” has a definitive Muse-esque feel, especially when the chorus kicks in.  Experimenting with a jazz feel, “Skeletons on Parade” quickly turns in to a song that could be featured in The Nightmare Before Christmas.  Not only do the lyrics have a Danny Elfman feel, but the instrumentation sounds as if Elfman composed the track himself.  The band also throws it back to the 1950’s with “I’ll Never Be Lonely Again,” which is a soft, slow ballad that almost feels out of place.

The missteps on the album come in the slower love songs, such as “Anything For You” and “Manta Rays.”  That doesn’t meant that these are bad songs, they just slow down the tempo of the album, and the energy never quite returns.  As creative as Volpe is with his lyrics, they can also be extremely cheesy at times, such as in the song “Battle Cry.”  Yes, this song is meant to show the humor the band have, but the cheesiness of “We are young / but we will never die. / We won’t give up / this is our battle cry. / We will defeat the other guy.” is almost vomit inducing.

This is not the Ludo from the Broken Brides EP.  Heck, this isn’t even the Ludo from You’re Awful, I Love You.  This is the sound of a band evolving, becoming more versatile.  Even if the band never writes another hook again, the storytelling of Volpe will remain.  And fans should relish in that fact.  Will they be the scene equivalent of Milli Vanilli?  While that remains to be seen, it is highly unlikely.  This is the sound of a band hitting its prime.  And boy, does it sound good.

1. Too Tired to Wink
2. Cyborgs vs. Robots
3. Whipped Cream
4. Anything for You
5. Manta Rays
6. Skeletons on Parade
7. I'll Never Be Lonely Again
8. All the Stars in Texas
9. Rotten Town
10. Overdone
11. Battle Cry
12. Safe in the Dark/Skeletons Lullaby

Ludo is an alternative rock band which formed in 2003 in St. Louis, Missouri, United States. Andrew Volpe (vocals, guitar), Tim Ferrell (guitar, vocals), Tim Convy (synths) and Matt Palermo (drums).

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Batman
Batman says... "Taking Back Sunday composes their music first, then the lyrics."

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