Blonde Redhead
23


4.0
excellent

Review

by Iai EMERITUS
June 13th, 2007 | 52 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Multi-national indie rockers strike paydirt with their 7th album - a remarkable, beautiful dose of neo-shoegaze.

Blonde Redhead belong to a lineage that also includes Saetia, Guillemots, Hadouken, and The Arctic Monkeys. By this I mean, they're a band that I avoided for ages because of the kind of people who rave about them (be it people I know, the NME, or certain famous people). Yet, they're also a band, like the others mentioned, that I eventually checked out and loved. In all honesty, what I expected was nothing like this - everybody I know who talked about this band was a hardcore scene kid (I loathe the phrase, but you get the picture). Now, if somebody had bothered to tell me, 'here's a band that used to sound a lot like Sonic Youth, but now pitches themselves somewhere between Interpol and My Bloody Valentine....'

Certainly, this album starts excellently. "23" is a brilliant slice of neo-shoegaze, good enough to have been on Loveless (ya, srsly!). "Dr. Strangeluv" and "The Dress" are a little more straightforward, but equally impressive and beautiful. "SW", meanwhile, moves the band musically into a territory that reminds me of The Twilight Singers circa Blackberry Belle, and the vocals sound a bit like Scott Matthews. There's even a brass/horn fanfare halfway in. What's not to love here" So far, it's four tracks of easily listenable, gorgeously textured indie rock with great melodies.

Now, there are dozens (actually, probably hundreds) of albums that get to this point and get me wishing that they'll keep it up.....and then they start sliding in quality. 23 doesn't. "Spring and by Summer Fall" actually makes me wonder if I'm over-rating what's gone on so far, because so few albums get this far with me getting this much enjoyment from every track. "Silently" restores my faith - it's slightly more pared-down, in that there's less going on musically, but that melody is absolutely undeniable. The remaining four tracks are again very, very good - "My Impure Hair" deserves a mention for being the only song so far that sounds easy to replicate live, featuring as it does a prominent acoustic guitar and cleaner, more basic electric guitar line. Yet, the swirls and effects remain, elevating it - it reminds me a little of Slowdive's finest moment, "Dagger", which was also a pared-down, more acoustic track at the end of a dense shoegaze-inspired album, although, if I'm being honest, "Dagger" is the better song.

I can honestly say that I'm shocked by just how good, and particularly how consistent, this album is. I'm tempted to make more slightly retarded comparisons to Loveless, and that, really, should tell you enough about how great this music is. It's lush, deep, produced and executed to near-perfection, and the songs are just plain beautiful. It manages to be as enigmatic as something like Espers, without sacrificing the accessibility it so effortlessly displays. To top it off, there's not a bad track in sight. Stalling it on a rating of 4 does seem a little harsh, but it should be noted that if I ranked every album I'd rated a 4, this would probably make the top 10. Speaking of top 10 lists, if this isn't in my top 10 of 2007 come the end of the year, I'll be shocked - in what's been a surprisingly good year so far, this still manages to shine through. Definitely recommended.



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user ratings (253)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
FlawedPerfection EMERITUS (4)
23 is huge. Take that any way you want, because it applies....


Comments:Add a Comment 
La Revolucion
June 13th 2007


1060 Comments


One of the best of the year so far. Nice review.

RandyfromPennywise
June 13th 2007


752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Downloading this as we speak. Or as I type, or whatever. Pretty nice review = votes. You're pumping them out of late... good to see! :thumb:

astrel
June 13th 2007


2615 Comments


I have been avoiding this band like the plague as well, maybe I should give them a shot if they have a good shoegazer sound...

Slaapkamers
June 13th 2007


596 Comments


you should get their albums that are like
good

La Revolucion
June 13th 2007


1060 Comments


Attn: Anyone who wants to like Blonde Redhead

Get this and Misery Is A Butterfly first.

EDIT: And probably Melody Of Certain Damaged Lemons eventually too. Cause it's good.This Message Edited On 06.13.07

The Jungler
June 13th 2007


4826 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Get Misery first, Lemons second. This is good, but it can't top those. I still need their earlier stuff.

Good review as always. Didn't you get re-staffed?

astrel
June 13th 2007


2615 Comments


alrighty then

RandyfromPennywise
June 13th 2007


752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wrong thread? Or maybe I just don't get it. Anyway, just given this two proper listens the whole way through, and it's tops.

pixiesfanyo
June 13th 2007


1223 Comments


am i a hardcore scene kid?

=[

pixiesfanyo
June 13th 2007


1223 Comments


Metalcore. Shai Huludish. I dig on Blonde Redhead a lot though, I think maybe you overrated this album a little, I gave it a 3.5. Seems like a lot of people are really digging this on MX though. Also, I find it weird that I hate Loveless but love all these other shoegaze bands.

pixiesfanyo
June 13th 2007


1223 Comments


Alex didn't like Misery as much as this. I think it is better but you and Zappa seem too have more similar tastes than You and I.

McP3000
November 14th 2008


4051 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

just listened to this and it was better than i expected. i could see this going up to a 3.5

zakalwe
March 22nd 2014


28032 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Seriously, what the fuck is this severe lack of comments about?

1st in over 5yrs.........album rules

zakalwe
March 22nd 2014


28032 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good lad!

zakalwe
March 22nd 2014


28032 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Better dude

zakalwe
August 16th 2014


28032 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sigh, poor ole spooky.

zakalwe
August 16th 2014


28032 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Living with it would be a head wrecker.

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
August 18th 2014


15012 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

im

listening

to

this

a

m

a

mezz

klap
Staff Reviewer
August 18th 2014


12144 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

bout time foxxxy

Digging: Hot Chip - A Bath Full of Ecstasy

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
August 18th 2014


15012 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is real good does tommy jam this i think hed dig it



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