May 16, 2006

Raining Electrons and Cigarettes

Goodbye / Asobi Seksu [2006]

Close Watch / Theta Wave State [2002]

Asobi Seksu is not inexperienced. They’ve been around in some form since 2002, and their name means "playful sex" in Japanese. Yet "Goodbye" sounds as if it were recorded during that period of early adolescence when you knew "sex" was an important adult word but were still uncertain exactly what it meant. "Goodbye" is young for its age. It's the jangliest, most Belle & Sebastian track on AS's forthcoming sophomore effort, Citrus, even though it lacks BS's melted-Toblerone-under-your-dress perversity.

Citrus itself is strongest at these types of moments, when the band pushes its inclinations toward the extremes. If "Goodbye" is the condensed sweetness at the center, the bit that gets stuck in your teeth, then the preceding track, the eight-minute "Red Sea," is the distilled border, with chords and macromolecules floating off the skin and out into space. It's last five minutes recall the band's previous incarnation as Theta Wave State, particularly the quiet "Close Watch," the only TWS track to feature Yuki on vocals.

Go here for the Music For Robot's post on Citrus, and here for Colin's post on Asobi Seksu's first album.

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