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CD Review



Love Arcade - Self titled
Atlantic/EastWest Records
        About three months ago I'm strolling through one of my regular record store haunts, just trying to kill some time on a lazy Sunday. After spending a little time checking out the racks, I stumbled across a little box on the floor by the cash registers containing a bunch of promos the store was giving away. Staying true to my credo "if it's free it's for me" I start riffling through the promos, hoping to find some cool stuff. After grabbing about three sure-fire CDs I knew I was going to like because I knew the label or artist, I notice this CD. The first thing that caught my eye was the name, which didn't sound like something a punk band or metal band would call themselves, which made the probability I was going to like it that much greater. Then I study the picture on the cover of a guy dressed in a suit with angel wings on his back tugging on his hair. Interesting imagery and, since the CD was free, I grabbed it and decided to give it a shot.
        Fast forward to two weeks ago.
        I am just about to go on a little long distance driving trip and started looking for CDs to take with me to listen to during the ride. I stare quizzically at this CD, grab it and decide the trip is going to be the time to dig in to it. So, I eventually hop in my car, start driving, find this little CD and pop it in there expecting the worst, because that's my luck.
        Man, was I surprised!
        This CD turned out to be the shit!
        Conceived, graphically designed, written, arranged, played, engineered and produced by Snowhite (alias Christian Berishaj) the album is a tour de force, made all the more astonishing due to Snowhite being only 19 at the time the album was recorded. It seems Snowhite is the epitome of the term 'musical prodigy'. Writing and recording songs in his home studio since his pre-teen years, Snowhite began gathering a buzz when he started mailing his demos out to various record labels beginning at the age of fourteen. With his mother following up his submissions by relentlessly hounding label reps with phone call after phone call, it was only a matter of time before somebody took a chance on the talented youngster. By that time, Snowhite had started performing live and often wore angel wings on stage, hence the drawing on the album cover. Eventually, Atlantic Records got a hold of Snowhite's demos and thought enough of the lad's infectious pop rock to sign him up to a record deal, placing the album on the subsidiary East West.
        Love Arcade's debut is a marvellous excursion into the world of energetic, throwaway pop like The Cars and Greg Kihn used to do so well in the '80's, though with a modern rock sound. Don't expect to listen to this album and retrieve any great message from it. In fact, if this album has a flaw, it is often with the juvenile lyrics. Now, since Snowhite is barely out of his teens, the lyrics and subject matter of the songs are exptecd to be of a more juvenile sort. It's just that the melodies and songs are so catchy and well-constructed, a listener may well expect the same sort of maturity in the subject matter of the songs. Alas, it is not to be. But that is an exceedingly minor point. The truth is, this album had me so pumped up and jazzed, I immediately called a bunch of my music friends when I got back in town and told them of this fantastic CD. I am hoping to see the same sort of growth in Love Arcade/Snowhite as Prince had after his debut. If Snowhite can get anywhere close to the quality of The Purple One or even Ben Kweller, I would expect a very long career with many, many great albums left in its' wake. This kid even wrote the parts for the strings on the slower songs - damn!
        This CD will appeal to those who like modern power pop like Weezer, Fountains of Wayne, Green Day, and any other band who makes you feel like jumping around all crazy like whenever they come on the radio or the sound system. Very catchy rock that will have you singing along to the anthemic choruses quicker than you would have thought possible. Perfect summer party rock and great for playing while you test your car's maximum speed capabilities. In other words, excellent Friday night driving music. An artist to watch and an album to pick up. Get it now. - Scott Homewood



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