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REVIEW | Candy Hearts – “All The Ways You Let Me Down”

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by Jordan Narloch

As Warped Tour 2015 fades away, if you are like me, you are clutching to our fifty CDs you acquired at the festival, trying to relive every moment until next year comes around. This year, one of those discs added to my collection was All The Ways You Let Me Down by Candy Hearts. After hearing both their producer Chad Gilbert (of New Found Glory) and Hayley Williams (of Paramore) gush about the band on their respective social media accounts, I thought I needed to give this brand of female-fronted pop-punk a try.

Candy Hearts sound just as one would imagine after hearing such a sweet name. Each track contains enough sugary, fun pop-punk that one listen will have you grinning from ear to ear. If All The Ways You Let Me Down were a candy store, “Coffee With My Friends,” and “All The Ways You Let Me Down” would be the treats in the display window; the brightest, most eye-catching (or in this case ear-catching) items they have in stock. Once drawn inside, you would run across other tracks like “I Miss You,” “The Dream’s Not Dead,” and “Fool’s Gold.” The band utilizes a simple structure in these songs to make them easily accessible, and catchy as hell. Mariel Loveland’s melodies are infectious over the driving drums and polished guitars. Her vocals are also very reminiscent of New Found Glory’s vocalist, Jordan Pundik, who is featured on “Something’s Missing,” making it a particularly delightful track.

Careful though, this record should come with a warning label. Like any good dessert, make sure you don’t overdose on it because its actual substance is unfortunately pretty minimal. It becomes apparent after listening to a few successive tracks that the record’s musical simplicity is often its downfall. The songs easily lose any distinction from one another due to their similar structures. The album’s lyrics are also a little too dry and obvious, or they at least seem to be on the surface. Candy Hearts tell a multitude of stories about daily life and relationships, but only in the simplest of terms. The word choice often prevents the listener from fully delving into the deeper meanings hidden in many of the songs. Despite its enjoyable melody, a good example of this is “Top Of Our Lungs.” When placed in context, the chorus below serves as a reference point for a story about a budding relationship.

“We were singing that record at the top of our lungs, drinking ‘til we couldn’t even fill our cups. When the threads of our conversation tangled up, you said, ‘Hey can I stay?’ I said, ‘Why Not.’”

All in all, the album may be best to stray away from if you are searching for more complex musical qualities or lyrics that are well-written. But on the other hand, if you are simply looking for a little fun, All The Ways You Let Me Down is for you. Despite carrying some weaker content, it should be noted that Candy Hearts has grown up a significant amount since their debut EP that features “Bad Idea.” If they continue to mature at this rate and expand their sunshine-filled sound, this peppy three piece could become an excellent act on the Warped Tour.

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