Cigarettes After Sex
Cigarettes After Sex


4.0
excellent

Review

by John Darr USER (16 Reviews)
June 12th, 2017 | 367 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Unabashed beauty

Using the term ‘pretentious’ to describe any piece of art implies that you, the audience, knows more about the art than the artist him/herself. The artist tries to convey meaning through music in a way that is dysfunctional, cliched, or worse: lacking self-awareness. The term is abused during music discussion. And yet when an album comes along that lacks any pretension whatsoever, the quality is ignored, and the simplicity and the directness of the music becomes a quality to be criticized rather than celebrated.

Cigarettes After Sex is as heavy-handed as stage names get. It reeks of millennial sexual angst: it’s dramatic and precociously casual, presenting a half-romantic image of hookup culture that relishes in the pain that comes with it. It’s easy to see the name as a title of a horrible tumblr poem or a high schooler’s tinder bio. As an album title, it signals a lyrical trainwreck.

The beauty of “Cigarettes After Sex,” the debut eponymous LP by songwriter Greg Gonzalez and his three-piece backing band, is that the record never aspires beyond the limitations of its premise. Snapshots of ‘modern’ heartbreak, where confusion about the status of a relationship makes drawing lines of physical and romantic intimacy near impossible, provide the lyrical direction of the record. Gonzales’ phrasing is precise yet restrained throughout. He never attempts to make grandiose connections between the scenes he describes and a vague universal meaning. Instead, the simple, pleading phrases throughout the record stand on their own. These are 2017 love songs without 2017’s neurotic digital overload.

The dream-pop arrangements on the record serve as a perfect pairing. Each is nearly minimalist in its construction. The tracks on “Cigarettes After Sex” utilize beautiful arpeggiating guitar lines to provide a counter-melody to Gonzales’s silky tenor, which stays locked in an octave-and-a-half range throughout the album. The bass and drums anchor each track without ever drawing attention to themselves. The result is a record whose indulgence in melodic and atmospheric beauty is effortlessly intoxicating.

In an inundated music scene, it can feel impossible to differentiate one group from another, and many groups utilize gimmicks to try to separate themselves from the pack. On the other hand, “Cigarettes After Sex” distills years of dream pop – atmospheric production with tinges of soft fuziness, gliding vocal and guitar melodies, and romantic lyrics – into a simple formula that works song after song. It’s Gonzales’s embrace of dream pop’s core elements that, ironically, set him apart. It’s beautiful music, nothing more, and certainly nothing less.



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user ratings (218)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
ebenwilton (3.5)
Have you ever come across an Instagram/Tumblr post that has no business being that beautiful?...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Toad
June 12th 2017


2002 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ah, got the album alignment straightened out. Enjoy!

Recommended track: "Sunsetz"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-rbSNzU_b8

butcherboy
June 12th 2017


9464 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

shame it had to be deleted.. have your pos back!

Toad
June 12th 2017


2002 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yah tis a shame the posi vibes thread had to be cut but so it goes

thanks mr. butcher!

anatelier
June 12th 2017


2614 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great review, this is such a smooth album. 'apocalypse' is wonderful.

Digging: Fontaines D.C. - Dogrel

DoofusWainwright
June 12th 2017


19991 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

'Apocalypse' is the best here yeah



Album is top five of the year so far along with Future Islands, Mark Eitzel, Mount Eerie and either the Oxbow or Tiger Lillies.

Toad
June 12th 2017


2002 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks for the positive feedback!

glad you all are enjoying this! one of my quick favorites of the year

luci
June 12th 2017


10778 Comments


love the review, as engaging to read as this album is to listen to. the simplicity does these songs a lot of favors

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
June 12th 2017


2846 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Very nice review and album. Couldn't have asked for more from this band's first album.

Toad
June 12th 2017


2002 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks lucid & blushful! i'm super thankful for this record right now, came at a great time for me with the lovely summer haze

theBoneyKing
June 13th 2017


16330 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review Toad! Album seems to be getting quite a bit of buzz, sounds like I might dig so will try it out.

Toad
June 13th 2017


2002 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Boney! given your dig you're quite likely to enjoy this.

AdolfChrist
June 13th 2017


20684 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

awww yeah, ive been waiting for this.

Digging: Horsehunter - Horsehunter

Toad
June 13th 2017


2002 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

is good man!

klap
Staff Reviewer
June 13th 2017


12094 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great review, you already know how i feel about this. simple but pure

Digging: Weyes Blood - Titanic Rising

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Emeritus
June 13th 2017


6686 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

need a lil more pillow time with this

klap
Staff Reviewer
June 13th 2017


12094 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

let's do it bb

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Emeritus
June 13th 2017


6686 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

(˶◕‿◕˶✿)

EphemeralEternity
June 13th 2017


3232 Comments


stoopid band/album name

DoofusWainwright
June 13th 2017


19991 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This dude's singing is like a male androgynous mirror to Victoria Legrand's female androgynous style. The band also sound a teeny but like Beach House in general too.



If this music wasn't sexy it'd be shit. It's a tight rope act. Cigarettes After No Sex would be a 1/5

AdolfChrist
June 13th 2017


20684 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pretty much.



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