Xiu Xiu CD review [5 Rue Christine]



Music Reviews
Xiu Xiu CD review [5 Rue Christine]
By
Feb 18, 2003, 04:23

XIU XIU A Promise CD

Troubled and troubling, Xiu Xiu's suicidal tales of woe are creepy in whole new ways.

On A Promise, their latest, every instrument sounds as if it were sharing a secret, as leader Jamie Stewart whispers on the edge of a painstaking shriek about nothing in particular. “Pink City” is as uppity as it gets, with a riotous synth caterwaul and a steady beat, with lyrics like “I am the dumbest bitch on the planet” and “awful is all, awful like cookie.”

The unlikely cover of Tracy Chapman's “Fast Car” is a delicate exercise in restraint, with modest guitar strum and vocals that vary from spoken to sobbed.

The album ends with “Ian Curtis Wishlist”, whose bullhorn effected vocals strain like Costes off the meds, as Stewart sings the album's final words—“I'm just kidding”—before a machine squeal erupts and abruptly ends the album. You'll find your heart slowing down, suddenly aware of how exhausting all of this darkness and doubt can be. All this packaged in cover art guaranteed to make you some lifelong enemies down at customs, so get on down with the frozen frown. [5 Rue Christine/Kill Rock Stars]

-James Jackson Toth


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