Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Album Review: The Raveonettes – Lust Lust Lust

There is one guy and one girl in the Raveonettes. As luck would have it, there is one guy and one girl here at Les Enfants Terribles. In honor of the new Raveonettes album, Lust Lust Lust, we're gonna try something new: a track-by-track, he-said, she-said style review. We have no idea if this is a good idea, but we are rather fond of taking risks. Please indulge us.

Megan: In the past, I considered myself a casual Raveonettes fan at best. Sure, I thought their Whip It On EP was really great, especially the frantic, fuzzy bum rush of "My Tornado." But after that my affections went a bit south, and I never regained my footing on the bandwagon of pro-Danish love. The times could be a-changing, however, because I think Lust Lust Lust is simply luscious, and I’m rather gobsmacked by how much I love it. It's delicious boy-girl, Jesus & Mary Chain-worshipping bliss.


Chris: Well, you've already got a leg-up on me. I recall checking out Pretty in Black at Tower Records, not even listening to its entirety. I kind of liked what I heard, but not enough so to buy the thing.


"Aly, Walk with Me"

C: OK, I can tell this is going to turn into a gushy love fest. I first heard this track a few months back when the band's PR folks started dropping it around the blogospheres. The heavy distortion and pseudo-surf sound instantly captivated me. A kick ass way to kick things off--it's dark, dangerous and damn captivating. Starting things off with one of the CD's top three tracks always is a winner to me.


M: Hot damn, this is good. Sharp guitars, a little foray into some beats…and the best part is, it only gets better from here. And it’s not even in my top three tracks off the album.

"Hallucinations"
M: These two really harmonize wonderfully together. Sune and Sharin have such sweet voices I can't stand it. To me, this is the epitome of the Raveonettes; those intensely saccharine vocals offset by blistering guitars and lots and lots of noise. Beautiful.

C: I really dig how they slowed down the pace a bit and reigned in the fuzz ever so slightly. Sure, they kick it back up towards the mid-way point, but I like the softer intro.


"Lust"

M: The lines "I fell out of heaven/to be with you in Hell/My sins not quite seven/nothing much to tell," do nothing short of rock my world. Add the haunting coos in the background and that saucy sound and you've got a dynamite track.


C: Funny, not my favorite track here. While I appreciate the almost spaghetti Western feel to it, the slower tempo seems almost out of place to me. This is an album best appreciated at high decibels and I don't feel the desire to do that here.


M: Actually, it sounds great the louder you listen. Promise.


"Dead Sound"

M: The jauntiness of this one comes as a complete kick in the ass after the honeyed hypnosis of "Lust." I'm kind of in shock at this point as to just how deeply I am in smit with this album.

C: Definitely one of my other favorite tunes on the CD. It builds out of nowhere and then kicks into an up-tempo pop rocker of confectionary goodness. If I were going to try to get someone into the Raveonettes sound, I might well use this one as my hook. I had forgotten they put out a slightly different version on the Warm and Scratchy compilation from Adult Swim last year. I like this one even better.


M: This is now the ringtone on my phone.

"Black Satin"

M: This definitely makes me think of the Jesus & Mary Chain. It's got the background of "Just Like Honey," but with a slightly sunnier overtone. Nice guitar solo, too. I'm a sucker for things that sound like they'd split my eardrums apart at a live show.


C: Have I mentioned that your descriptions scare me sometimes? That being said, whereas "Lust" felt somewhat out of place to me, for reasons I can't explain, the slower tempo works much better for me on this track.


"Blush"

C: I like the vocal change-up here. My only problem with the CD is the danger of it sounding repetitious towards the end. While maintaining the overall sound and feel, switching the vocals is a good call.


M: More of the same, please.


"Expelled From Love"

M: Ah, moroseness! Other people's heartache can sound so good, as is the case with several songs on Lust Lust Lust. Slow and moody, it's a lovely song.


C: Well, I guess we're not going to do quite as much agreeing as I originally thought we would. Sure, it's a lovely song, but I don't listen to these cats for "lovely." More jangly, pumped-up fuzz for me, please.


"You Want the Candy"

M: This is utter poptasticness. It is inescapably catchy. Heaven help me, but I want to put on some boots made for walkin' and hit the dance floor right about now. While pouting at some boy across the room, of course.


C: Yeah, definitely one of the other top three winners on this outing. And have you seen the video for this? Good Lord and Butter, I'm seeing these cats when they come to the Black Cat on March 29.


M: See? We do agree. This is in my top three, too.


"Blitzed"

M: I feel like a broken record, but this one is great, too. I guess I'm back on the Raveonettes Kool-Aid.

C: Agreed, though it is at this point I'm beginning to think this album could wrap itself up.


"Sad Transmission"

M: Something makes me think of "Duke of Earl" here, but even without this the song is very 60s to me. Oh, and it's also really fucking good. "Let me hold you for one last time" gives a hint of the overall tone, and once again it's deceptively cheerful.


C: The clip-clop drum opening the track is a nice touch. Everything the Raveonettes do has a very 60s feel to me, but I dig what you're putting down.


"With My Eyes Closed"

M: Ok, I think this one would be, if I was forced to choose, my favorite. It's got that certain something, every piece of the puzzle fits just right. It's mopey enough, it's sweet enough, it's tighter than tight. And the line "it was never meant to be/for me" appeals to the little black cloud in my heart. Close to perfect.


C: See my thoughts on "Expelled From Love."


M: I bet it grows on you. So there.


"The Beat Dies"

M: Distortion, distortion, how I love thee. And so too do the Raveonettes. Sharin's voice sounds particularly girl group-esque here, all she needs are some doo-wops. And yet, once more, it's darker than it sounds, kids.


C: A good closer, if for no other reason that it sounds slightly different from the rest of things.


Closing Remarks


M: I can't believe how good this album is. I was not prepared, I was not expecting this at all from the Raveonettes. I feel ambushed. How dare they make an album this amazing? But really, kudos to them. This is truly the best album I've heard so far this year, with all due respect to Radiohead. I have fallen in love with this black-clad, Scottish and Spector-influenced album, that like most matters of the heart, caught me completely off guard. And I wouldn't have had it any other way.


C: While I'm not quite as blown away as my lovely partner, I will agree it's already got a shot at Top 10 Best of 08 in my book. As I mentioned above, I might have whittled it down a track or two, but only because the sound is a tad redundant. That being said, I reiterate my thumbs up status and can't wait to see these cats live.

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