Cigarettes After Sex – Cigarettes After Sex – Album Review by Killian Laher
Ten tracks on a debut album just feels so… right, doesn’t it? On the debut album from Cigarettes After Sex, these ten tracks all use a similar palette, slow beats, liquid, clean guitar lines, and androgynous vocals from Greg Gonzalez. The tracks take their time to unfurl, revealing their delights slowly and meticulously. Soppy melodies, sure, but perfect for those moments that necessitate curling up and adopting the foetal position. You can see where these songs are going before they get there, but that just adds to the heightened sense of anticipation that pervades this album.
There’s a whiff of Mazzy Star off of the blanket of shimmering guitars and sluggish beats that wraps itself around your ears on opener K. Each Time You Fall In Love is more downbeat, in a moody teenager kind of way, heartbreaking feelings communicated as much by the music as the lyrics. In fact the lyrics fall a good bit short of poetry: “you’ve been hiding them in hollowed out pianos left in the dark” (Apocalypse) or “you gotta do the right thing, do the right thing baby” (Flash). Apocalypse is the most upbeat thing here and would surely be destined for daytime radio were it not for the band’s terrible name. Some of it gets a bit repetitive, such as the somewhat plodding Opera House which wouldn’t work as an entry point for anyone. Elsewhere though, Truly is overwhelmingly slushy, but brilliantly so if you’re in the mood for that kind of thing, and John Wayne perfectly soundtracks a slow dance at the end of the night, if such things still existed, and here, Gonzalez perfectly drawls the simple line “babeh, he’s got to be crazeh”.
In truth, once you’ve heard one of these tracks you’ve pretty much heard them all, there’s not much variety. But it’s a very good listen, albeit Gonzalez’s vulnerable vocals are something of an acquired taste. Some will complain that these are ten similar tracks that just sit there going nowhere. Very much like some of the new Slowdive album, and everyone loves that don’t they?
2. Each Time You Fall In Love
7. Opera House
9. John Wayne
10. Young & Dumb
Each Time You Fall In Love