I don't know a lot about Xiu Xiu, but I've been listening to thier records for a couple of years now, and they seem to grow in leaps and bounds with each release. Knife Play was just plain scary to me. I had never heard anything like it. The voice! It was so hard to decide if that melodramatic voice was being serious or not. Jamie Stewart quavered eerily between desperate whisper and death wail atop a sparce-to-clamourous pots-and-pans din of drum machine and exotic ethinic percussion. Somehow I loved it, but soon found it to be a clear-the-room favorite at gatherings. Much easier on the ear, but even harder on the psyche was last year's Fabulous Muscles, an album which wears it's pathetic and vainglorious homoeroticism on it's silver lamé sleeve.
Xiu Xiu returned stronger than ever recently with thier new CD La Foret. I haven't had a chance to totally bathe myself in yet, but as a whole, the new album seems even more approachable. Jamie's voice still projects emotional intensity without grating on unaccustomed ears. Parts of La Foret, including the track I've chosen for today, successfully recreate the echoey doom and gloom of The Cure circa "Charlotte Sometimes", which is not really an easy act to pull off. However Xiu Xiu do, and the result is one of the most entrancing things to come out in 2005.
MP3 7.72MB, 320kbps, 44kHz
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