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CSS – Donkey

Previously posted on PopWreckoning.com on 7/22/2008:

With a band name that, in Portuguese, stands for an alleged Beyonce quote that says, “I got tired of being sexy,” Brazilian act Cansei de Ser Sexy, or CSS, already sounds like they should be a fun and witty group. They have been praised for blending Portuguese and English as well as daily life with pop culture, but they are most noted for having their song “Music Is My Hot Hot Sex” featured in popular mp3 players’ commercials. Their 2008 release Donkey on Sub Pop should have been just as witty and fun, but after listening to it I feel more like a jack ass for thinking Donkey could live up to my hype.

While the album has a better production quality than their previous release, stylistically and lyrically it is lacking. The first track, “Jager Yoga,” starts off promising with a slow build from the crashing cymbals to the smooth bass line, the addition of the first guitar and then the second guitar comes in. Quite pleasant so far, but then Lovefoxxx comes in with Tilly and the Wall style vocals and her bold claim that this group, “Didn’t come into the world to walk around.; / We came to take you out.” This turns out to be a boast that the group is unable to live up to as few of the tracks remaining on the album are really worth getting up to go out and dance.

Even if that song made you want to go out and party with the group instead of sitting passively by, the next track will have you grounded. “Rat Is Dead (Rage)” borders on grunge and features a slower tempo, angsty lyrics and an obnoxious screech from Lovefoxxx’s vocals.

As the band starts to get back into the electronica dance sound and leave the grunge and rock behind, the songs do improve. Rock is just not suited for the vocal stylings;again and again, poor vocal matching with the instrumental patterns was a problem for this record. However, songs like current single “Left Behind” and “Move” really do make you want to go out and maybe party with the band like the first track promises.

This group has potential with their amazing bass riffs and funky drum beats, but this album isn’t quite ready to be the soundtrack for all the dance clubs.

Donkey by CSS is released on Sub Pop on July 22, 2008.

01. Jager Yoga
02. Rat is Dead (Rage)
03. Let’s Reggae All Night
04. Give Up
05. Left Behind
06. Beautiful Song
07. How I Became Paranoid
08. Move
09. I Fly
10. Believe Achieve
11. Air Painter

CSS: website | myspace | download “Rat Is Dead (Rage)”

Written by: Bethany