Review: Cinema Hearts – Your Ideal
National Music Reviews
Cinema Hearts = Ronnie Spector + Liz Phair + Shannon and the Clams
Trying to describe the sound of Cinema Hearts is like describing the taste of a pineapple: It’s tart, zesty and vibrant to the senses, with just enough sweet sensation to make your teeth pleasantly ache. This is exactly how I feel when I listen to this five-song EP. Cinema Hearts is the musical project of Washington DC-based singer-songwriter Caroline Weinroth, an ex-pageant queen who understands the camp and tongue-in-cheek tenor of beauty pageants and brilliantly slips a little of that cartoonish melodrama into her songs.
On “Mirror,” Weinroth cements the campy feel with the lyric, “Sometimes my eyes close when I drive.” Weinroth sings her insecurities over a slow, jangly, rattle of a guitar that dips ever so slightly into psychedelic, surf rock bliss. “When I go to the party / I’ll be what they want me to be / I’ll be your princess / I’ll be your trophy.” It’s trashy, B-Movie cheese that works on every level.
The surf-rock feel turns way up on the track “Your Ideal,” with Weinroth’s vocals moving from sultry cool to controlled screams. She gives salaciously delicious lyrics like, “I want to be the one to eat the most cake / My lashes on / I’m lashing out / I can’t wait,” stirring up the perfect, scratchy guitar mix with touches of the Peter Gunn theme and synchronized handclaps. It’s an ideal cocktail that goes down smooth and strong, like a late afternoon gin and tonic.
“Everyday is a day without you” is a tear-jerker ode to loneliness delivered with a ’60s-style girl group grace that cuts with precision. Weinroth sings the track with the same charm Olivia Newton John gave to “Hopelessly Devoted To You” from the iconic Grease soundtrack. “Everyday is a day when life gets in our way / Everyday is a day I’m alone,” Weinroth sings—a classic teenage daydream of a songwith meat on its bones.
On the closer, “Sister,” Weinroth tells us that life’s not all about shopping bags, glitter tutus and high heels—maybe she’s right. The truth is that I hope Weinroth never stops singing about fabulously trivial things and looking at love through a warped, pop-music lens. Your Ideal is a record that’s cool and clean. In Weinroth’s expert hands it’s a hurricane of a sugar rush. –Russ Holsten