Loretta – The Translation

The Translation

Loretta’s The Translation is not a bad album, not very bad at all. The only problem is that this album can be summed up definitively in one sentence: If there was an album in between The Bends and OK Computer in Radiohead’s repertoire, this could be it.
Now, comparing a band to Radiohead isn’t exactly something to be ashamed of; it’s just that Loretta pulls off a Radiohead impression so well that I can hardly tell what the band’s individual personality is. The song structures amble along at a tempo-changing, sporadic rate, often changing from bombastic guitar noise to splendid, cascading waves of notes on a dime, much like Radiohead. While this sounds awesome, it’s hard to not think you’re listening to Radiohead. The lead vocals are a cathartic yelp, and a nearly spot-on impersonation of Thom Yorke in some places. It’s truly creepy how much Loretta and Radiohead have in common.
Despite these genre problems, the members’ chemistry is undoubted, as every part of the puzzle fits in flush with the others, creating a warm, full sound that truly impressed me. This chemistry is due in part to the fact that each member plays at least two instruments (Damon Wiedner is credited with four, and Jason Weidner is credited with three). This gives each member an at least functional knowledge of the duties the other members of the band have, and enables them to effectively use their instrument to the other members’ advantage. Thus, they lushly orchestrate their songs, filling every second with meaningful, pretty notes and rhythms- not a second is wasted.
If you have never heard Radiohead because you thought it was too hard to get into, listen to Loretta. This is the bridge between snobby Brit-rock and egocentric art-rock; the band is very accessible, in fact, which is something Radiohead has never been. If you’ve heard Radiohead, you might be interested in Loretta, but you’ll probably find yourself pointed to either OK Computer or The Bends by the end of the album. That leads me to another definite conclusion: if Radiohead didn’t exist, Loretta would be the replacement for them, just as highly touted, and just as loved. Unfortunately, Radiohead does exist, and I like to hear new sounds, not tweaked-up versions of already-tread material.