It sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Back in 2008, Best Buy promoted Ludo’s album unlike almost any other album I’ve ever seen being specifically promoted by a big box store. I’m not sure what the big deal was, what Best Buy had at stake, but they pushed this album over and over. Outside of the commercials, I heard almost nothing about the band from anyone I knew. Lucky for you, I’ve been a long time fan of the band and actually liked that album quite a lot. I think it’s time you go back and give it a listen.
Ludo has that classical pop punk sound that you’ve gotten used to. Certainly a poppier sound than any emo band out there at the time, but a lot of their lyrics were very dark and filled with lament and loathing. You’re Awful I Love Youbegins with a track filled with backhanded compliments and the kinds of analogies that let you know that someone actually thought about the lyrics they were writing, rather than cranking them out so that just any artist who picked the song from a catalog could be the one to record it.
Ludo has been a band for a long time, and this was their national debut. While they may not appeal to everyone out there, if you like creative and unique lyrics you’re in for a treat. “I found God in a catalytic converter, in Topeka on a Monday night” is just one line that you genuinely think you could overhear in a place like Topeka. “Fill my soul with vomit then ask me for a piece of gum” is over the top for some people, but it does a great job of getting right to the point, doesn’t it? You know people like that, who are toxic for you and couldn’t care less what they are for you, it’s only about you are for them and what you can do for them.
Then you come to a song like Lake Pontchartrain, which feels like an epic story being told to song – all in a neat three and a half minute package. Listening to the story unfold makes you think you’ve listened to “that one six minute song on the album” and then you realize no time at all has passed, but you’ve been involved in a story that was so well written you were busy picturing it like a movie playing in your mind. After that, the band moves on to the next track. You don’t have time for the credits to roll, you’ve already been shuffled along to an upbeat song trying to help someone get through their heart break: “Love, such as it ends… into the flames we’ll start again.”
You’re Awful I Love You probably appeals more to teens, but musically and lyrically, it is a fairly creative and well crafted album. It’s extremely well produced, each track catchier than the last – at least for the first half of the album. The second half of the album feels a little slower and less energetic, but that’s not a bad thing after the pace the first half of the album set. You’re also given a nice treat which breaks from the darker imagery of the first several songs, when you have a luagh of the expense of a creeper. You know the type of guy, a “stage five creeper” as the girls on my college campus used to call guys like Go Getter Greg. “I haven’t seen you at the pool since the barbecue / Not that I’ve been checking / here’s the deal I’ve got this thing for work this weekend and I was wondering if you don’t have anything going on then maybe / okay, hey, that’s cool you’re busy but we should hit up Jose O’Flannigan’s for Jello Shots your call it’s okay not this week / but Monday…” It’s a series of pickup lines by the kind of guy who thinks he has the pick of the litter, but really has no idea how to talk to women. “You could use a guy like me in your life” the lyrics go, as we all have a laugh at the expense of Go Getter Greg. The video reminds you that there is no single “uniform” to identify a “creeper” like that – it could be anybody.
The album’s not perfect, and some people will pass on it as a bit of teeny-pop-punk. But give it a listen when you’re on a long drive some time, you’ll laugh along with some of the absurd lyrics and it’ll keep you awake and moving with the undeniably catchy hooks.