Men Without Hats: Love In The Age of War
Tight drums, arpeggiated, driving keys, some arcade game-like background sounds and a sing-able chorus on “Devil Comes Round” opens the new Men Without Hats album, Love In The Age Of War. A sweeter lilt, but just as driving keys make “Head Above Water” a nice showcase for band leader Ivan Doroschuk’s voice.
“This War” is what all these songs have been leading up to and, as Ivan himself says of this album, “I see a general unease everywhere I go and that’s kind of what the album is about.”
“Live And Learn” has an interesting lyric and, like “Head Above Water,” I wonder, if somebody had backed off on the thrumping keys, might these tunes have benefitted? I know this is MWH’s sound, but when one takes a listen to this band’s excellent, overlooked, Pop Goes The World album, where Ivan and the boys employed a more acoustic approach by hiring Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull to play flute on a tune (!), one realizes that this band (presently MWH is Ivan, his brother Colin, Lou Dawson and James Love) is capable of getting by without the keys for a song or two.
“Close To The Sun” employs slower, airier-sounding (still arpeggiated) keys and a doubled vocal to create a nice ballad. This might be the best song here. The title track is a pretty good mover–Ivan’s limited voice pushes the same sounds along well and there is a good, poppy chorus.