LUDO “Prepare the Preparations”

Prepare the Preparations
Island Records

“Prepare the Preparations” is the third studio album by smarter-than-thou Ludo the erstwhile quartet that gave us “Broken Bride” the rock opera about what a man will do for the love of his wife.

This is a bittersweet time for Ludo fans. Andrew Volpe – the group’s front man and main songwriter – is developing his craft beyond the constraints of pop music. This has always been a lure of these Midwestern popsters, but Volpe is racing ahead of the learning curve leaving the band standing still – watching – seemingly waiting.

This is not to diminish “Prepare the Preparations”. This is what we have come to expect from Ludo. Smartly crafted songs – seamlessly performed and ironically arranged. It seems – though – perhaps the irony has reached its peak. The arrangements are beginning to seem more cookie cutter – more formulaic than the earlier outings.

They tend to rock harder when they rock hard and they are exponentially more relaxed when appropriate, but so much of what they are doing seems so familiar. I am reminded of the prog-rock group Boston.

Boston’s debut album was eponymous. It redefined its genre. The ensuing albums were a lot like the debut. It’s almost as if the band knew what worked and was not straying from it.

Ludo hasn’t quite gotten to that level of self-reflection, but they really need to take a leap of faith on the next album. They need to abandon all of the archetypes they have created for themselves and try out something new and relevant.

Now having said all of that, if you like Ludo, this is perfect disc for you. The archetypes I spoke of all in place. The dramatic pop heartbreakers, the neo-country love songs and the clever little “Did he really just sing that?” moments.

“Anything for You” might be the best love song of 2010.

We eagerly await the new disc – this one has been out for two whole days already – if only to see if they have what it takes to take a giant step outside of their selves to create something wholly new.

I have faith that they do have it. Right now they are just asking us to “Prepare the Preparations.”

They are currently touring to support this disc. They are playing some very intimate cool clubs through the Midwest and beyond. Check their website for dates and catch the show.
Stand Out Tracks
Whipped Cream
Anything For You
Manta Rays
I’ll Never Be Lonely Again
Battle Cry

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