Xiu Xiu
Forget


3.5
great

Review

by Finn Baker USER (38 Reviews)
February 26th, 2017 | 108 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It's late in the game to ask, but I'm still asking you.

The term 'experimental' barely encapsulates all that Xiu Xiu is. The one consistent member throughout 15 years of activity, Jamie Stewart, likes to pen statements about sex, self-hatred, and an inability to process your own thoughts and feelings. These words are then crammed into a blender on its highest setting, while other analog synthesizers (and on one occasion, a Nintendo DS) follow the same, cruel process. It's harsh truths over harsh noise. Other songs may end up being one simple element that's lightly tweaked overtime, and the song itself becomes eerily quiet. It's often the albums that fall somewhere in the middle of this intensity spectrum that become Xiu Xiu's most popular. Their previous album turned out to be the most widely noticed project from this band in over a decade. Forget is the first album to come after the Twin Peaks soundtrack cover, so it's probably the first new album for many new Xiu Xiu fans.

Unfortunately, their knack for constantly shifting styles and methods does not bode well for these new fans of Xiu Xiu. It's a bad idea to expect their next album to follow the same course as their last. However, Forget is a great album for a newcomer. It contains some of the most accessible tracks that the band have done in a long time. The highlight and lead single 'Wondering' is a perfect example, with a straightforward, catchy hook in it. This song, in fact, does a fine job showing off most of the things Xiu Xiu excels at. There's a repeating synth stab in there that doesn't entirely sound like a synthesized noise. It's reminiscent of a guitar, being plucked in a very rhythmic fashion. It also layers in sounds that, although they are seemingly randomized and thrown in haphazardly, only add to the pleasant ruffled texture of the whole song. This is something Xiu Xiu does a lot; have a handful or two of unique and slightly unsettling sounds that scatter in every direction throughout the duration of a track.

Thankfully, the three singles from Forget weren't the only tracks to have the most admirable qualities. The final track 'Faith, Torn Apart' is an oddly beautiful finale to the entire album. It wears the Michael Gira influence proudly on its sleeve, with pounding drums, simple but dramatic lyrics, and repetition in every detail. While the song is distinctly Swans-esque, it simultaneously displays the inner psyche of Jamie Stewart. The last half of the 8-minute song consists of a poem written by Stewart, and every line is the first thought that comes into his head after viewing online pictures of underage prostitutes. He writes from their perspective, and what they likely think about themselves. Some descriptions are trying to be humorous, while others are devastating. "My kiss comes from a scream...my bikini looks dumb...my family will never see me again." It's a very provocative part of the album, which can't quite be said about most of the songs here.

Forget is an album with both new ideas and old methods. The scheme of writing from the perspectives of other people isn't particularly new to Xiu Xiu, and neither is the idea of filtering or distorting Stewart's voice in ways that partially obscure the lyrics. There isn't a lot of new terrain being covered, since many guest contributors from previous albums come back here, too. What's new is the structure of songs being so poppy and electronic. Both of those words could definitely be applied to Xiu Xiu albums that came out over a decade ago, but the distinct combination of the two styles is a fresh concept for them. Occasionally, songs will lean too far to one side or the other, and become a little more forgettable. But for the majority of the time Forget takes up for the listener, it was time well-spent.



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user ratings (145)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
brandontaylor
February 25th 2017


734 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

didnt really enjoy the twin peaks album at all, but i liked fabulous muscles a lot and this was almost as good. not sure where to go in their discography next though, so any recs would be appreciated. great review as well btw.

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
February 25th 2017


18019 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2 | Sound Off

thissssss



ain't good







start at the beginning if you've heard Fabulous Muscles

Digging: Ichiko Aoba - QP

IcelandRevel
February 25th 2017


906 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, even I was thinking "eh" but I didn't have a lot of negative things to say on the album. Don't hate it, but it could've been a lot better.

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
February 25th 2017


18019 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2 | Sound Off

Wondering is a great song, but a lot of this isn't that memorable plus Faith, Torn Apart just doesn't really do it for me

DoofusWainwright
February 26th 2017


20001 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Pretty shit

TheWrenKing
February 26th 2017


1696 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this has only gotten worse on subsequent listens

Tyler.
February 26th 2017


15449 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Can't wait to check

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
February 26th 2017


18019 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2 | Sound Off

CLAP BITCHES

Lord(e)Po)))ts
February 26th 2017


39738 Comments


hoping i disagree about this

Tyler.
February 26th 2017


15449 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is my first experience with xiu xiu

Tyler.
February 26th 2017


15449 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

wondering is pretty good yeah

Funeralopolis
February 27th 2017


14159 Comments


been waiting for this album to come out need to check

owen
February 27th 2017


5145 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

surprised that opening wasn't some kind of watermark for leaked copies

IcelandRevel
February 27th 2017


906 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Haha, I heard that at the beginning of the full album on YouTube, and I immediately stopped listening because I thought it was fake.

Storm In A Teacup
February 27th 2017


24549 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I fucking love this album. Best thing out of 2017 so far. Pos.

Rigma
February 27th 2017


850 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

sounds like blackstar only slightly watered down

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
February 27th 2017


18019 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2 | Sound Off

what is that supposed to mean

Storm In A Teacup
February 27th 2017


24549 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

It means Rigma is a false prophet

Dewinged
February 27th 2017


12237 Comments


Couldn't get over his voice. At all.

Digging: Azusa - Heavy Yoke

Storm In A Teacup
February 27th 2017


24549 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

voice combined with the production is a party



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