Things looked grim for country trio Love and Theft when their label collapsed beneath them shortly after their '09 debut and founding member Brian Bandas quit. But the self-titled follow-up finds Eric Gunderson and Stephen Barker Liles re-energized, with the single "Angel Eyes" becoming their biggest hit to date before the album's release. Underlining modern country's debt to classic "heartland" rock, that track and several others here sound like they could have come from a latter-day Tom Petty album. At the same time, Love and Theft taps into a '70s pop feel on tunes like the Eagles-ish "Inside Out." But when the duo digs into a romantic R&B vibe on "Amen" or manages to make a song called "Girls Look Hot in Trucks" sound innocent, they're undeniably pursuing territory all their own.
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