Music Review: The Love Language by Ruby Red

These ecstatic tunes could have been plucked from the score of an old-fashioned romantic movie.

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The Love Language

Ruby Red

MERGE

Suppose Roy Orbison had teamed up with U2. Picture Morrissey produced by Phil Spector. Ruby Red, the breathtaking third album from The Love Language, might well be the result in either case. The brainchild of Raleigh, NC native Stuart McLamb began life as a one-man studio exercise, then became an actual touring and recording ensemble, though it’s always been solely a vehicle for his grand vision.

On Ruby Red, McLamb finally seems fully professional, and not in a bad way. With more than 20 musicians delineating his sprawling soundscapes, these ecstatic tunes could have been plucked from the score of an old-fashioned romantic movie. While McLamb’s tantalizing lyrics touch on faith, love, death and other essential subjects, his stirring vocals—theatrical yet with enough self-awareness to avoid cheesy melodrama—are the real reason to listen. From “Faithbreaker” to “For Izzy” to “Calm Down,” Ruby Red could be a chart-topping greatest-hits collection in an alternate, groovier dimension.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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