Paul Burch makes a good impression on Fool for Love. There's a strange ambience to "Lovesick Blues Boy" -- the opener -- that creates a strong undercurrent. The bass-heavy production is simple but insistent, providing a dark underpinning for Burch's rich vocals. "Bad Girl She Used to Be" sounds like a '50s tune channeled through the Velvet Underground and sweetened by a touch of romanticism. One quickly gains the belief that Burch knows where he's heading on Fool for Love and what he wants to achieve. The arrangements, for instance, don't seem a lot different than those used by the typical singer/songwriter. But odd touches like Fats Kaplin's steel guitar on "Deserted Love" and fiddle on "If You're Gonna Love Me" add another affecting layer to the tapestry. There's also the heavy use of a tremolo guitar, and the way cuts like "Call My Name" are mixed, that reminds one in places of Gordon Downie's Coke Machine Glow. Like Downie, Burch's writing proves less self-absorbed than the average songsmith. He also seems smarter and more distinct than the usual alternative country act on the make, even though his style, and association with Bloodshot, will categorize him as such. Fool for Love lives up to the promises of Burch's earlier work, and will be appreciated by anyone who enjoys stylish music rendered with a sonic blast.