"In a garden in the house of love, sitting lonely on a plastic chair, sun is cruel when he hides away. I need a sister, I'll just stay."
A lush, stunning, overwrought masterpiece of an album, The House of Love's second consecutive self-titled LP (the first long-player born of their ill-fated relationship with Fontana Records) stands as one of the great indie releases of the nineties, even though its status as the missing link between Post-Punk and Brit-Pop has all but assured it of a slow descent into relative obscurity. Legend has it that the recording sessions for the album were a nightmare, as the band was not only quickly fragmenting, but was also saddled with an artistically unsympathetic producer. Despite all this, House of Love is both cohesive and dynamic. The album opens with "Hannah," a song built around some lovely echoing guitar parts, which are cut through by Guy Chadwick's measured vocals until the chorus, where things are kicked up a sonic notch- overall, an outstandingly constructed song. The next track, a re-recording of the pre-album single "Shine On," is just as good; though the lyrics are obscure, melodically, this is one of The House of Love's most memorable songs. The final part of the opening trilogy, "Beatles and the Stones," is a shimmering, gorgeous ballad, whose theme is more about isolation than sixties nostalgia. Criminally out of print, this is, nevertheless, an album not to be missed.
House of Love (aka "Butterfly" or "Fontana" Album)
1. Hannah (5:42)
2. Shine On (4:00)
3. Beatles and the Stones (5:42)
4. Shake and Crawl (3:40)
5. Hedonist (3:36)
6. I Don't Know Why I Love You (3:30)
7. Never (3:44)
8. Someone's Got to Love You (3:40)
9. In a Room (4:05)
10. Blind (3:44)
11. 32nd Floor (4:06)
12. Se Dest (5:02)