- 19 Nov 19
A formulaic follow-up from some mellow indie men.
How could we ever forget the melancholic anthem for a generation of indie romances, ‘Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby’? It was seven years ago that Cigarettes After Sex defied the odds and triumphed over YouTube’s algorithm with the hit. But what have they done since?
Following the song’s success, they went on to release a few other singles in the same vein as their big track, which has nearly amassed 100 million YouTube views by this point. Now they present to us Cry, their second studio album. In truth, I find it disappointing. The group haven’t evolved their sound in the slightest since 2012. They’re relying on a formula that’s far from sustainable, and on this record, the cracks are beginning to show.
The biggest problem with the album is the shallow lyrics. Gonzalez fails to come across as charming, and instead, mostly like a sleazy pervert. For evidence, look no further than cuts like 'Pure' and 'Hentai.' It's a bit awkward, and frankly, it's embarrassing songs like these that send Cry over the edge. We would have hoped for classier, especially in 2019.
There is a redeeming cut here: on the single ‘Heavenly’ a haunting synth-pad wanders over a simple and steady bass-line, which cohesively segues into Greg Gonzalez’s angelic croon. It works. Evocative of Angelo Badalamenti’s iconic Twin Peaks score, it is by far the best thing here.
Sadly, beyond this, there isn’t much that’ll be of interest to the casual fan. Sure, this is a perfectly adequate album to soundtrack a rainy day or a commute to work. Being serenaded by Gonzalez is relaxing. But right now, I by far prefer music that’s designed to wake me up.
Out Now. 4.5/10.