Aaron Carter Returns to Pop with His ‘LøVë’ EP
Former teen-pop heartthrob Aaron Carter returns with five-song EP, LøVë, his first set of new music following a 15-year hiatus.
The last time we heard from Aaron Carter musically was in 2002. In 2002, he dropped his fourth studio album, Another Earthquake. Since then, music hasn’t been associated with the former teen-pop heartthrob, until the arrival of two 2017 singles, “Sooner or Later” and “Fool’s Gold.” Both singles appear on Carter’s five-song EP, LøVë. How rusty is Aaron after 15 years off? All in all, he’s not too bad off, if lacking in his own distinct artistic identity.
“Fool’s Gold” opens LøVë slick AF. Carter doesn’t sound like he’s missed a beat. He delivers breathy, rhythmic, sensual vocals that fit the current urban-pop musical climate. For good measure, he sneaks in an f-bomb that has become commonplace (“Showed up uninvited, f*cking up my vibes with”). The best moment of “Fool’s Gold” is undoubtedly the chorus, which is infectious:
“Look at you falling / Do you even know what you’re falling for? / Cause I see you falling / You traded my heart for some fool’s gold.”
Slick production work continues to shine on “Let Me Let You.” The script is quite similar overall – electronic production work without a blemish. Also part of that script is romance with an inescapable sensual vibe. This doesn’t lend itself to distinctiveness as this perfection is in line with conformity as opposed to nonconformity, but it’s respectable enough. “Let Me Love You” is the type of record where vibe supersedes everything else.
“Sooner or Later”
“Sooner or Later” is another solid song filled with clichés. Translation: The song itself isn’t memorable, but benefits from a conformist pop sound. This record is good enough, but “nothing to write home about.” The modern bag of pop tricks dominates, with sound supplanting meaningful songwriting. Even given its conceptual flaws, vocally, Carter sounds fine. His vocals are quick, rhythmic, and chocked full of swagger. Still, the performance isn’t a tour de force, respectfully speaking.
Arguably, non-single “Same Way” has a slight edge on “Sooner or Later.” Sure, it’s hard to tell with the gaudy production work that dominates LøVë, but the vocal performance is stronger. Even with the production tricks full force, there’s loads of appealing ear candy. “Dearly Departed” concludes, but doesn’t pack the same oomph as the top-two – “Fool’s Gold” or “Same Way.” It’s not a fail, but it’s definitely more album track than an ear-catching single.
Ultimately, LøVë thrives off its production and swagger. Given the extended hiatus by Aaron Carter, there is a clear focus on the sound of this EP as opposed to substance. It all seems to be purpose by design, aiming to make the former teen-pop artist relevant 15 years later. Carter, indeed, sounds like many of his contemporaries, but that probably isn’t enough to elevate him to superstar status.
Gems: “Fool’s Gold” & “Same Way”
Aaron Carter • LøVë • Sony • Release: 2.10.17
Photo Credit: Sony