I enjoyed singer/guitarist/songwriter Amy Gore's work with the Gore Gore Girls and was intrigued when I heard about her latest project, Amy Gore and Her Valentines.
After she played a one-off show backed by guitarist Jackson Smith (Patti Smith, Electric Six), bassist Leann Banks (The Von Bondies) and drummer Joe Leone, the Detroit musicians felt they had something special together and set about making an album. They worked with producer/engineer Al Sutton (Kid Rock, The Detroit Cobras) at Rustbelt Studios and invited guests including funk guitarist Dennis Coffey to assist in creating In Love, which was released last month through Space Lion Records.
Gore's garage rock roots are still very evident, but more power pop elements have been introduced -- particularly on "Diana" but pretty much throughout In Love's 12 tracks. There are 10 originals and covers of Shocking Blue's "Send Me a Postcard" and R. Wayne Davies' "You Won't Lead Me On."
"Drivin' Around" opens the album, was the first single and sets a rocking but melodic tone for what's to come. There's more emphasis on guitars on second single "Fine Without You," "Static" and "Baby In Your Arms." "I'm Addicted" features jangle and a big chorus, while the organ on "Static" and "Remember Me" adds more diversity.
Gore's sound comes across a little cleaner and safer than it did with Gore Gore Girls and may not reach quite as many high points as that band, but In Love is probably her most consistently high quality release yet.