Cansei De Ser Sexy (Portuguese for ‘I got tired of being sexy’) or CSS for short, are back to woo our eardrums with latest LP ‘Planta.’
Back in 2007 CSS were at the epicentre of the inescapable nu-rave storm tearing up every dancefloor and summer festival in sight with Klaxon-shaped partners in crime.
Clad head-to-toe in primary colour sequins and armed with glow sticks, “let’s make love and listen to death from above!” instructed Lovefoxxx to her neon army of followers and who couldn’t love a frontwoman who unashamedly awarded such a nickname to herself?
That was an astonishing 6 years ago though, and, despite releasing 2 more albums since then, emulating the same delirious frenzy as their debut has proved difficult. Perhaps launching themselves into such a niche and faddy genre was their Achilles heel and neon-fatigue does set in quite rapidly.
Enlisting the production skills of TV On The Radio’s David Sitek who credits Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Scarlet Johansson and Santigold, the album also features a collaboration with Rancid’s Tim Armstrong. The result is, unsurprisingly then, a more mature sounding record with clearer vocal delivery, less yelping and the kiddy Casio keyboard bleeps have been toned way, way down.
Although lead single ‘Hangover’ sees the band in their signature carnival mood the effervescent sparkles are markedly more reined in and measured. The synths are also darker in tone and less obvious throughout the record. Previously resembling a giddy child on sugary pop, Lovefoxxx now smoulders like a come-of-age slinky panther, cooing Karen-O style and closing track ‘Faith In Love’ is pure brooding electronica.
Although ‘Planta’ doesn’t have the instant appeal of their debut it replaces that hyperactive fizz with substance and layers of thoughtful production which reward repeated listens.
It’s understandable why CSS have dropped the glitter and this is a wholly cohesive and well-delivered attempt at a new direction but it lacks a little something, like a slightly under-seasoned soup.