"I Won't Hurt You" is the second song on this well-titled fifth album from Love as Laughter. The song is less than three minutes long and certainly isn't the most complex or convoluted song Sam Jayne has written in his decade-plus of music-making (first with Lync, mostly as the principal member of LAL). However, "I Won't Hurt You" may well be the best rock & roll song you hear all year. Jayne's tremulous voice is energized with the confidence that a beefy guitar squall and a crescendoing rhythm section tends to give. It's a rock-god experience that's absolutely transcendent and seemingly singular. Singular, that is, until you hear "Every Midnight Song," which is the fifth song on this album. It's a bit longer and twice as explosive and exponentially more inspirational, as it's actually about rock & roll (a topic that's all too often avoided in rock & roll songs). Jayne throws bones of homage to his predecessors: the Pavements and Modest Mouses that took similar (but less rockist) ideas to great acclaim, while Jayne is left washing dishes at a Seattle burrito restaurant. But Jayne is a true believer, and the 11 songs on Fifth (yes, all 11 of them) are the sort of proselytizing we need to hear more often.
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