Monday, February 11, 2008
Xiu Xiu-Women As Lovers
DISCLAIMER: I absolutely love Xiu Xiu. They are one of my favoritest bands ever. And because of that I tend to be more critical of their output than bands I just like. That being said, Xiu Xiu's latest record, their sixth full length record in six years (not including multiple EPs, live discs and a 2-disc remix/covers album), Women As Lovers, is another great entry in their flawless discography. Did I mention I love this band?
Xiu Xiu has yet to radically change their sound but each record has it's little intricacies. Women as Lovers is very clangy and percussiony. There's also some great Lora Logic sax skronk. And also Xiu Xiu is for the first time a four-piece as opposed to previouly being a two-piece. I think the doubling of the group gives it a much richer, deeper sound, more "band-like" if that makes sense. Another thing i've noticed is much more frequent on this disc are female vocals. In fact, I can't recall anyone besides main dude Jamie Stewart ever singing before. It works though. One of best parts of this record is the cover of Under Pressure. Yes, THAT Under Pressure, by Bowie & Queen. Only this time it's Xiu Xiu with Swans/Angel Of Light's Michael Gira dueting on vox. It's great. Xiu Xiu always do interesting covers (on a previous EP they covered The Pussycat Dolls Dont'Cha. No seriously.) and they turn this into an entirely different song but at the same time it's still recognizable as "the song with the Ice Ice Baby sample" as my generation (under 30) knows it.
I think what I love the most about Xiu Xiu is Jamie Stewart's TMI lyrics. Some of the stuff he sings are just shocking as far as how personal they are. Whether he's singing about his own experiences or not his delivery just makes you feel like he's baring his soul and sharing his darkest secrets just with you. On Black Keyboard he sings Why would a mother say such things?/Why add tongue to a kiss goodnight? His singing just staggers me. If you have yet to experience Xiu Xiu and have any interest in adventuresome music I cannot more highly recommend that you check out this or any Xiu Xiu record. You'll be floored.