Longtime Blonde Redhead fans may be a bit put off by the less jagged and even more melancholic sounds of the band's latest album, Misery Is a Butterfly. Then again, the band's never been one to sit still.
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Journeying from noise-rock roots to clavinets and duets, Blonde Redhead has found a home on the lush label 4AD, and its latest material reflects that influence. Guitars are muted, bass is still a thing of the past, and Kazu Makino's keening vocals float on zephyrs of strings, upper-register keys and bittersweet melodies.
Live, the band is certain to create its signature sexual and musical tension. Erotic interludes between Makino and guitarist Amadeo Pace bring mesmerizing, nearly tantric songs like "Pink Love" to life. And the more poppy and charismatic album closer, "Equus," may help to bridge the band's past and present sounds. Makino's screeches mix with less plodding guitar, and the puddles left by the frequent stop-starts radiate with the teardrops of a damaged lover.
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