Why do indie fans get bothered by success? They don’t, it’s only rapid success that gets to them. It’s because a quick ascension to fame and notoriety comes with sacrifices to a band’s original sound and original fans. Such is the case with Lovedrug, whose second album, Everything Starts Where It Ends, abandons the charm of their debut for more mainstream-friendly guitar pop.
There’s something essential lacking from Lovedrug’s follow-up to 2004’s Pretend You’re Alive. It’s to the point where they almost need to seek their own advice. Everything Starts Where It Ends is full of pleasantness, but is missing the human touch of their debut. Power chords, poppy rhythms, and sober, breathy vocals tarnish the album like a retread of several radio-pop acts of the last five years. "Happy Apple Poison" starts off the album with a lip-curled acoustic warble turning into a drenching arena-jam in an all-too-familiar way. The next track isn’t much different. In fact, most of the tracks are similar.
But when Everything Starts Where It Ends isn’t being too big, it’s calm ballads are stale. "Dancing" is a mid-tempo piano flow with a typical radio modern rock ballad beat behind it. And it only lasts for a little more than a minute. The rest of the album is a variation of the same tempo and overwrought production, unfortunately.
It would be nice to say that Lovedrug has stepped it up from their debut, but they’ve stepped it up about twenty notches too many, and lost their touch in the process. Everything Starts Where It Ends is a smiling, shouting "come say hi" to the mainstream rock world, making it more likely to get lost in the mix than if they progressed a little more thoughtfully.