The Concretes | WYWH

Friendly Fire (2010)
By CARRIE BATTAN  |  November 16, 2010
1.5 1.5 Stars


Two full-lengths removed from the departure of Mazzy Star's long-lost sonic sister, lead vocalist Victoria Bergsman, the Concretes have a developed a sound that's altogether different from that of their early/mid-naughts heyday. It's also significantly less remarkable. Hollowed out and devoid of the languid, twinkling fuzz atop which Bergsman's voice floated, WYWH is a darker, thinner, more digitized affair whose only compelling moments come courtesy of a new-found sex appeal of the disco variety. "What We've Become," though not exactly a Studio 54 anthem, rises above the humdrum easy-listening tunes of the rest in that it's loud and somewhat fun — its propulsive electronic throb might pass for something off CSS's Cansei De Ser Sexy were the other elements not so self-serious. But overall, this release suggests that the Concretes need to step back and reflect. Retaining the pre-Bergsman storefront might bring listeners inside, but once they see the shelves stocked with products they didn't come for, they'll be that much more likely to turn around and leave without dropping a dime.

Related: Boo-ya!, Rare treats, Review: Taam China Glatt Kosher Chinese Cuisine, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Taken by Trees
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   MAIN ATTRAKIONZ | 808S AND DARK GRAPES II  |  September 07, 2011
    Following a steady stream of low-budget tracks, mixtapes, and videos posted on their Tumblr this year, the Bay-area stoner rap duo of Squadda B and MondreM.A.N. (a/k/a Main Attrakionz) have raised the stakes by offering up something that resembles a traditional release.
  •   LIL B | I'M GAY (I'M HAPPY)  |  July 19, 2011
    Gone are the endless declarations of hoes on his dick in groups of 30 and 100; gone are the claims that he is everyone from Ellen Degeneres to Miley Cyrus.
  •   SHABAZZ PALACES | BLACK UP  |  June 09, 2011
    The musical reincarnation of Ishmael Butler, the elusive Seattle rapper who makes up one-third of the semi-popular '90s jazz-rap act Digable Planets under the name Butterfly, is a lot to unpack.
  •   FRIENDLY FIRES | PALA  |  June 07, 2011
    For a densely layered, expertly produced dance-rock album, this second full-length from British three-piece Friendly Fires is perplexingly bland.
  •   THE WEEKND | HOUSE OF BALLOONS  |  April 27, 2011
    Self-release (2011)

 See all articles by: CARRIE BATTAN