ove is a concept that seems to elude music critics everywhere. After all love in music, in these postmodern times, is often considered trite. How can transfer one of the strongest human emotions by simple chord progressions? And after it has been expressed in that way, isn’t it just fodder to be copied and mangled by some sort of faker? But love is a personal feeling- and if you feel a certain way then no one can take it away from you. And if a musician can tap into that feeling by creating a mood with their songs...more power to them. On Faultline’s Your Love Means Everything love is of enhanced import. Your love...of whatever it may be...means everything. David Kosten spends much of Your Love Means Everything seeking to express the concept of love with and without the benefit of vocalists to verbally express the feeling. Chris Martin, Jacob Golden, Cannibal Ox, Wayne Coyne, and Michael Stipe all lend their help to guide you through the proceedings with instrumentals along the way to underscore their points.
A slight shimmering guitar line begins this album, followed soon by a simple, plaintive melody played on what sounds like a xylophone. These two elements are countered by a light drumbeat in the background signaling the beginning of each looped section. The song is titled “Your Love Means Everything” and it sums up the emotion quite well. Close to the end of the song the loops gradually lose the synchronization that they enjoyed before. It is an interesting effect to hear programmed elements produced to do something “wrong” and have it come out right.
The most out of place track here, by far, is “Waiting for the Green Light”, which features the lyrical talents of Cannibal Ox. Stripped of El-P’s dense production and harrowing soundscapes the duo sounds vaguely naked and out of sorts. Their lyrical output is undercut by Kosten’s attempts at hardness- and it ultimately is dissatisfying. Vordul’s verse is uninspiring and sounds much more like spoken word poetry, rather than a proper rap. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, but it seems like the performance was a stretch for both parties. The production is a nice attempt at the pack-in-as-many-sounds-as-you-can style of El-P, but ultimately the effect is too full of spaces to work as many of the songs on The Cold Vein do. This song seemingly doesn’t have much of a place in Cannibal Ox’s catalogue or Faultline’s album.
Quickly following it, though, is a collaboration with Wayne Coyne, of the Flaming Lips. The song follows the same sort of simplicity of production of the previous songs- which is what spelled doom for the Cannibal Ox song. On this track, however, Coyne and Kosten turn in a relatively nice offering. It follows the same sort of path as “Do You Realize?” from the Lips’ newest album lyrically. Fans who love the Lips’ lyrical content will not be disappointed. The tricks of Friddman’s production, however, are not here. The track follows a simple melody to its logical conclusion.
Unfortunately, by tailoring certain songs to certain collaborators, Kosten has denied himself the pleasure of forging a distinct path on these songs with high profile independent artists.
Overall, as always, the hype provided by your favorite England publications is not up to par with the actual music. While the release contains a few nice tracks and some intriguing production on some- most notably “Your Love Means Everything”, “Where Is My Boy?”, and “Clocks”- the songwriting leaves a little to be desired. This is, if anything, a release made for making mixtapes to potential and already loved ones.