Tuesday, June 4, 2013

CSS- Planta Album Review

CSS' 4th LP has not been met with minor cases of drama. With the dramatic departure of Adriano Cinta from the band, many were left wondering what would become of the band. The resulting album by the now quartet is both an achievement and a surprise. Planta itself is a very different album than the past three. CSS has moved away from their classic shtick of debauchery and appreciative quirk. Planta stays true to CSS' classic synth sound but has matured and seemingly, calmed down.

Highlights from the album consist of: 'Sweet', 'Dynamite', 'Hangover', and 'Honey'. 'Sweet' push CSS into darker depths of dark synths that I haven't seen since their debut album's 'Alala'. Harrowing and deep, 'Sweet' is glowering and marvelous. 'Honey' is probably the truest progression of CSS' classic sound in its gloriously 80s synth style and quixotically intimate lyrics. 'Dynamite' is the post-punk highlight of the album with in your face vocals and bass/guitar heavy riffs 'Dynamite' begs you to dance and cause mayhem. 'Hangover' is rather ridiculous, but grows on you, especially with the inclusion of mariachi instrumentals and simple syncopated beats.

However, some tracks seem wanting and over-enthused. 'Too Hot' is a bit too demanding of 80s crooners, 'Teenage Tiger Cat' is a bit unnecessary (although somehow addictive), and 'Frankie Goes to North Hollywood' lacks the energy and charisma CSS is known for.

Planta is a laudable effort from CSS and one that needed to happen. A more mellow style suits CSS when it is supplemented with glistening and rich synths like in the more successful tracks of the album. But it seems that the attempt to slow down becomes too much of the focus on other tracks, losing the energy and attitude CSS is known for creating.

You can stream Planta over on Pitchfork. Planta drops on June 10th.

(image from http://www.spin.com/sites/all/files/styles/style620_413/public/CSS_Planta%20Cover%20for%20PR.jpg)

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