May 6th, 2017 | Album reviews

Lost in Little Tokyo
Lolipop / Burger

Only six months after his ‘80s-style pop rock release Point Of No Return, Lolipop Records mover and shaker Wyatt Blair has returned with his friend and collaborator Louis Filliger as the Broken Hearts to deliver a fresh set of tunes on their debut album, Lost In Little Tokyo. Though the new record sees Blair returning to the lush sounds of psychedelic rock and roll, he hasn’t quite shaken the 80s off entirely and the results are solid. Where Point Of No Return wore its influence on its sleeve—in bright neon-flourescent letters—the inspirations behind Lost In Little Tokyo appear a bit more subtle. Instead of channeling chorused guitar tones and Phil Collins-inspired drum samples, the Broken Hearts seem to take their cues more from the great Jeff Lynne-produced albums of the 80s; mixing the epic vastness of late 70s arena rock with sensuous dripping-wet atmospheric production. In its greatest moments, Lost In Little Tokyo sounds like the best examples of 80s output from a legendary classic rock artist, and really the only weakness in the album comes when the record goes all-in on 80s clichés. Songs like “Point Of No Return” and “Wings Of Angels” push a little too hard into synthwave and power balladry in a way that isn’t necessarily bad, but sounds a bit removed from the rest of the record. With Lost In Little Tokyo, the Broken Hearts create something bigger and more expansive in both sound and vision than nearly any of their Southern California psych rock peers. Instead of clinging to recreating the most pure version of a classic genre, The Broken Hearts establish themselves as interested in evolving their sound and pushing things forward.

—Simon Weedn