By Aj McDowell
Alternative indie music has a sort of stigma for all sounding the same. To be honest, that’s what I was expecting when I was given this CD to review; more of the same unintelligible crooning and repeated, worn out chords. But I was pleasantly surprised with Love is Louder Than All This Noise, Ontario native Craig Cardiff’s newly-released double album.
Love is Louder serves as a gentle introduction to folk music, which is a genre that uses a variety of different instruments rather than the usual mix of guitar/drums/piano.
Cardiff’s use of instruments gets the point across to the listener. The first song of the first album, “Head vs. Heart,” is welcoming with full notes and an upbeat-but-not-neurotic tempo. It’s a party, and Cardiff is opening the door and putting out the mat. The second disk, dubbed “gentler!” to disk one’s “louder!” features a more acoustic sound with more focus on vocals and simpler instrumentals. While simpler and more downbeat, the second album still maintains the fullness of its louder counterpart. “Last Love Letter” features Cardiff’s voice as the main attraction, but the accompanying acoustic guitar, piano and violin fill all the extra space.
In all, Love is Louder is fantastic. It’s one of those rare albums that can be used for both a calm ambience and a jovial road trip. With only the occasional slurring of words and hardly-there annunciation, Cardiff breaks the alternative music stereotype. Every song sounds different, and most of the songs will have you feeling like you’ve always known the lyrics. You’ll want to sing along at the top of your lungs regardless of who’s listening.
Verdict: Four-and-a-half various instruments out of five.