Monday, January 23, 2017
Xiu Xiu : " Forget'
I need this project to focus on Jamie Stewart's voice and really wallow in it's misery and the opener certainly gives me this even with the weird outburst of rap that blurt out for five seconds at a time. I need them to more song focused than experimental. I don't have to have guitar. Synths are fine with me. There is more of an abstract arrangement to "Queen of the Losers" , this contrasts the tighter groove oriented alt-pop of "Wondering". This finds the project at the peak of focus when it comes to their song writing smarts. "Get Up' takes things down to an almost "Sweet Jane" like tenderness, and eventually builds, is pleasant but not what I think of as the album's strongest song. The airy ballads continue on the song after this.
They are more in their sweet spot on a song like "Jenny Gogo" that finds Stewart's vocals in a hushed brooding and then jumping out into the darker distant dissonance. Not sure this would qualify under anyone's definition of goth could would appeal to a similar demographic, if they are open to more experimental forms of indie rock. When the shift back into the more lullaby like pulse the weight of the song then lies on Stewart, this is balanced out when they add a more rock sense of dynamics and stronger percussion on a song like "At Last, At Last". This finds them at the threshold of how subdued I want their dynamics to be. Here it's a pretty much perfect blend of all of their defining elements. The kraut rock like synth line to the title track really helps balance the song out and adds a cinematic intensity.
"Petite" lives up to it's name an is very minimal and intimate. I normally would get bored by how fragile this song is , but some how it works much better than expected. Things get bigger and darker for the very elegant "Faith, Torn Apart" , which I immediately like so it might have some goth elements or at least sound good when you are high. At almost eight minutes this is also the album's longest song.The queen'a narrative at the end of the song goes on a little long, but overall the album is pretty solid and much better than their previous one, so I am glad that was just a bump in the road and they are back in much better form. I'll give this one a 9 and see how it sits with me.r />