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'How Do You Love?' review: Regrettes find new ways to shine.

The Regrettes' "How Do You Love?" on Warner

The Regrettes' "How Do You Love?" on Warner Records. Credit: Warner Records

THE REGRETTES

How Do You Love?

BOTTOM LINE The L.A. power-pop quartet find new ways to shine.

The Regrettes’ charismatic frontwoman Lydia Night may be just 18, but on her second album “How Do You Love?” (Warner) she is craftier than rockers twice her age.

Night’s still-maturing vocals are picking up even more of a raucous, Courtney Love vibe, especially when Genessa Gariano starts revving up her guitar on the punkier numbers. And it all plays extraordinarily well, as Night creates a concept album about a relationship as it blossoms and fractures.

“I used to think that Romeo was full of [expletive] and ‘The Notebook’ was just my favorite chick flick,” she declares in the ‘50s-styled “Pumpkin.” “But now I get why Sarah was so hard to forget.”

It takes a lot of skill to name-drop so many romantic comedies, convey how a relationship is unraveling and still manage to remain both poignant and ultracool. But Night and friends manage it without breaking a sweat.

Even more impressive is the way The Regrettes move between multiple power-pop styles, even within the same song.

The current single “I Dare You” opens like a song from The Strokes’ debut, but Night’s cooing vocals and the girl-group call-and-response take the song in a completely different direction.

The stomping “Has It Hit You” is an irresistible singalong, bouncing between moshpit-generating bass riffs from Brooke Dickson and clever, distorted phone calls for comic relief. The push-and-pull on the catchy “Stop and Go” spans punk, reggae, and power-pop, as well as a siren-like, squiggly synthesizer sound for atmospherics.

Of course, Night is at her best when she is raging as her relationship unravels. “There’s a million things that I could say to you and a million things I know I shouldn’t do,” she says on “More than a Month,” before proceeding to do them and say them.

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It’s a giddy delight that carries “How Do You Love?” to the next level and should make The Regrettes straight-up critics’ darlings.

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