Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons CD, Import
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New York City's Blonde Redhead developed a reputation as Sonic Youth imitators, because their sound originally depended on the same discordant guitar points and sexless machinelike rhythms. But over the course of five albums, they've grown out of that heady shadow. Incorporating sinister keyboards, conventional melodic guitar lines, and a stronger grasp of songwriting ("Melody of Certain Three," among others, is hummable), Blonde Redhead is emerging from the underground rock world with a sound that mixes dissonant alt-rock ("For the Damaged") with space-age pop grace ("Ballad of Lemons") and orchestral ambitions ("Loved Despite Great Faults"). Mixed louder than the usual indie release, the atmospheric lead vocals of Kazu Makino bring the imagistic lyrics to the fore. "Hated Because of Great Qualities" builds into a teetering seesaw of notes while Makino admits, "It never meant a thing. So be it," with Godardian detachment. Definitely one of the more noteworthy bands that have slowly been growing into a diverse and formidable act. --Rob O'Connor
I love this album, and would cite it as one of the records that inspired me to form my little band Reigndear. From start to finish I'd have to rate this as my favourite Blonde Redhead album to date. Every song leads perfectly to the next and even the somewhat unbearable track Mother makes so much sense as it takes you to the track that follows.
I often wish that Blonde Redhead would record an album that mixes the elements on this album with the best parts of Misery Is A Butterfly, as I feel that these two records defined their sound, yet somehow got slightly lost in all subsequent releases.
I'd highly recommend this record to anyone who enjoys Blonde Redhead or any other bands that fit into a similar genre, you definitely won't be disappointed!
With this album, I feel like they finally discover the kind of music they were meant to create- this is haunting, well written and thought out pop. While Amadeo's songs somewhat retain the pace and tenor of some of their earlier albums, there is something in the essence of the songs that just feels different- as i said, it used to sound as if they were slightly disconnected from the experience (it's like the caught the unwound disease), but with this album, things sound, and feel, much more personal. Not that this sounds like 'pet sounds' but that be the best analogy for the development between this album and the last. Clearly, the song writing sounds more thought and there are almost none of the moments I found so troubling on earlier blonde redhead releases where a really good song was sort of broken up by an awkward part that didn't really stand up to the whole of the song. The only track on this cd i'm not into is the later track that is sort of a throw-back to the sometimes misdirected flailings of earlier albums. blonde redhead doesn't need to beat me about the head to make me pay attention.
Anyway, all I know is everytime i hear "hated despite great qualities" something, somewhere is aching.