Cigarettes After Sex return with sophomore album Cry, building on their seductive sound that always leaves the listener wanting more.
Cigarettes After Sex are a band that manages to create beauty from the serene. It may seem effortless at times, but that’s just the sign of skilled musicians. Their self-titled debut brought a little solace to a pretty angry world, with New album Cry carrying on the band’s strength in the minimalistic as shimmering vocals effervesce amongst tranquil musicianship.
Don’t Let Me Go is a beautiful opener of swaying melodies and subtle blues undertones that drift forward through a rhythmic wonderland. Frontman Greg Gonzalez’ lyrics open up a world that pines for the past and focuses on that coming of age feeling we all try to recapture through films, literature and music: “When I was young I thought the world of you, you were all I wanted…faded out, I never saw you again but I won’t forget the love we had”. It’s full of love, loss and memories that come alive.
Kiss It Off Me carries on the cinematic atmosphere, adding a gentle layering of floaty guitars that really help bring out the chorus and complement the simplicity and warmness in the vocals. You’re the Only Good Thing in My Life builds on this, feeling like a warm hug as the track saunters through the most primal of emotions, calming the nerves and finding beauty in its lucidity. The lyrics almost taunt the listener to “do what you’re heart desires”, which is something that we all forget to do sometimes.
As the record progresses, the sentimentality gently ebbs, instead replaced with an eye on the future and what there is to look forward to. Hentai uses humility and passion as a structure to push forward the serene and stripped back atmosphere – one of the most basic tracks on the record that somehow manages to feel full of cosmic energy. Falling in Love simmers steadily, again dreaming of times ahead as it boils down the complexities of emotions in yourself and others. Album closer Pure ties everything together nicely, using the chorus to step out, just slightly, from the relaxed atmosphere and create a melodic pace that settles into its own groove.
With Cry, Cigarettes After Sex have once again shown off their ability to create beauty and humility from tracks that are basic in structure but intricate in passion. The gentle flow creates an addictive atmosphere that is difficult not to be dragged in by, with Gonzalez’ vocals soothing your mind and caressing your soul. The album feels like an invitation into the singer’s headspace and it’s a pleasure to have a look around and experience the different facets of love and sentimentality that are offered up throughout.
By Jamie Parmenter
Fantastic and fair review unlike Pitchfork’s Sophie Kemp who brought a whole lot of her sexual politics into the review. It is always wise to simply review what you are listening to.
Thanks for the kind words, Pablo! It really is a strong album with great depth.