Review Summary: The side project of Davey Havok and Jade Puget show that they are stellar songwriters that can produce dark, ambient electronic music and while a few flaws glare through they can undoubtedly be fixed on a subsequent release.
One of my favorite pastimes is to sing. I've been told a thousand times I sound like a nasally cat by my friends and family but that never stops me from putting on my earphones and screeching away. With the release of “Cexcells”
I had not only more reasons to sing terribly in my room but to dance in a weird fashion as well.
the side project of AFI
vocalist Davey Havok and guitarist Jade Puget. To my basic understanding Jade works behind the keyboard and synth machines while Davey plays front man as he does with AFI. The production value on this album is sharp and crisp showing Jade to be a natural at creating smooth and catchy beats. To match the dark ambient electro flourishes produced by Jade is Davey's even darker lyrical performance that comes off as nothing short of dramatic.
The lyrics would have to be the highlight of the album. Lines like, "I'll climb on top and never stop until I make you forget who you are"
, from the track,” Between Breaths (an XX perspective)"
, are not only passionately sang but also give of a very sexy vibe that is perfect if you have a “special” friend close by. As with AFI albums the lyrics can be at times very self deprecating. The track, "The Fear of Being Found"
, find the lyrics being not only bleak but also self questioning, the line, "I feel see through, can you see through me""
show that anything Davey has a hand in will undoubtedly have a cold and dark quality to it. The final track on the album has a very soporific quality to it as Davey sings, "My my, your oh so sly let's leave unsaid what's left unspoken"
over a moody blend of piano and electronic effects. It would seem that lyrics so dark would come off as cliché or overly pretentious however Blaqk Audio seems to have found a perfect balance of drama and passion that flow colorfully throughout the album.
The instrumental aspect of Blaqk Audio are a mixture of upbeat electro pop such as on, "Snuff on Digital"
to the slower piano driven track, "The Love Letter"
. The beats all work very well and excel at the speedier tracks like, "On a Friday"
, which fabricates a dance vibe quite well.
The albums main flaws are scattered throughout and while no track is below average there are some uncomfortable bumps. One of the few missteps glare though on the track, "On a Friday"
, in which Davey flamboyantly repeats, "Oh,Oh,Oh" so many times it almost becomes difficult to listen to. Another flaw would have to be on the track, "Stiff Kittens" where Davey's voice goes a little too deep and doesn't suit him that well. These flaws are easily overlooked after multiple listens.
Cexcells would have to be one of my favorite electronica albums. Not only do Davey and Jade show that they are capable of branching out but that they are also very talented songwriters. There isn't a single filler track in the bunch and the next Blaqk Audio release will undoubtedly build upon their first wonderful release, CexCells
”The Fear of Being Found”
“On a Friday”
“Snuff on Digital”
“Again, Again, and Again”