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Best Local Album of the Past 12 Months St. Louis 2008 - Working in Love

Readers' Choice: You're Awful, I Love You (Ludo)

Rare is the band, in St. Louis or elsewhere, that can match the raw power of its live show with the sonic perfection and nuances of a really great record. Jon Hardy and the Public have achieved that balance with their second full-length, Working in Love. The album explores the ins and outs of romance while never veering into sappiness or desperation. Instead, Hardy delivers songs of belief and conviction with the baggage of one who has loved and lost and will stand to fight again. The lyrics are strong enough to stand on their own, but the Public's blend of new wave, pub rock and blue-eyed soul cuts straight to the heart of earnest, soulful American music.

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