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Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
|1. On The Verge|
|3. Don't Drink Poison|
|4. After Dark|
|5. Nanny Nanny Boo Boo|
|7. Tell You Now|
|8. New Kicks|
|10. This Island|
|11. I'm So Excited|
|13. Punker Plus|
New York City's Le Tigre's collaboration is a deliriously addictive, hybrid sound the band calls "feminist punk electronic music." It's a mix of drum-machine samples, synth hooks, buzzing guitar loops, gang vocals, & foolproof bass-lines. "This Island" is that rare thing: a party record that ventures from driving political rockers to melodic post-punk dance anthems" - Interview.
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I don't have a problem with the production like others do. It's slick and that's great. I've never been of the school that seems to decree that simpler is always better. It's high-quality and they were able to push the limits of creativity with all the cash that befell them once they went major label. The low-fi-ness is no longer a crutch for credibility. So in that sense, they probably had to work harder to make a great album.
Unfortunately, that seems to be the real problem here. They seemed to have worked so hard on everything else, they forgot to write good songs. The songs lack soul, which is what I think was Le Tigre's greatest asset. The best of the album is their single, TKO, which is nothing more than a retread of their other anathematic masterpieces on S/T and Feminist Sweepstakes. So they came up with something great, unfortunately, it's the same song they wrote three times before. I first heard JD's little opus live and thought it was slightly annoying, but a groovy tune nonetheless. And again, one of the better songs on This Island is only average compared to the works of art they put out on their two previous full-length albums. I'm So Excited is sort of funny. Reminds my husband and I of when the girls from Saved By the Bell started a group and Jesse was really stressed and on drugs. They sang the same song in the locker room at school and Le Tigre's rendition sounds strikingly similar on the album.
Some of the songs are downright awful. Nanny Nanny Boo Boo sounds like something that a weak, local imitation of Le Tigre would have come up with in 1998. Seriously, that was the best they could come up with? The chorus is reminiscent of the pseudo-feminist crap that we all put up with years ago. And as hard as I try, I just can't wrap my head around Don't Drink Poison. I'm wondering if it's supposed to be "fun" or something. It reads like bad poetry. Further, in principal, I support such a blatantly anti-war message as New Kicks projects, but in practice it just comes off as lazy. They could have come up with so much more new politic (given the current climate) in songwriting than they actually produced here.
In general, the album sounds pretty good but it really lacks intensity and innovation. I'm not ready to give up on them, though. I think they had more money than they knew what to do with and perhaps misdirected it. I hope their next major label effort is generally more focused.
It feels like a completely different band. Songs like 'On the Verge', 'After Dark' and the witty, catchy, 'Nanny Nanny Boo Boo' are fresh and danceable, but if you've heard the first two albums then you can't help but feel a little wistful, and ask yourself, "What happened to the feminism?" Which isn't to say there aren't political songs here; because there are. Three, to be exact. 'Seconds' is the album's punk song; an indictment on George W. Bush that features some embarrassing, simplistic lyrics, but that doesn't matter too much as you can barely hear them anyway (Kathleen shows off her trademark squeal on this song.) 'New Kicks' uses a punk-rock sample to background some anti-war speeches, but seems to exist mostly for the video. 'Viz' is my favourite song on the album. It's JD's butch lesbian manifesto; about going clubbing, the butch/femme lesbian subculture, sexuality, and liberation. 'TKO' is fun and anthemic, but to the band's own admission the song is about absolutely nothing, and unfortunately that nothingness extends to too many of the songs, threatening to define the album itself. 'Don't Drink Poison' is the album's weakest moment -- a hodge-podge of guitar samples, electro music, and bad rapping about how "chicken caesar grows on trees".
Ofcourse, this album is a million times better than the other trash we're subjected to -- despite a few awkward lyrics, it's essentially smart pop music, which is a rarity these days. However, This Island has the least "heart" of their three full-length albums -- there are no book or cd recommendations/references to be found here, which disappointed me personally and does detract from the Le Tigre experience a little, as this album seems to lack the soul and militant feminism that were Le Tigre's whole schtick in the first place, and what made them special and different.
Le Tigre sound more confident than ever here, and they're definitely one of the better, smarter bands of the electro genre. The problem is, this album doesn't seem like it was meant to last -- it's happy to make you dance right now (and make no mistake, it's got groove in spades) and raise consciousness about Bush, but I'm not sure it will stand the test of time (or if it's even meant to.)
I looove this music because of the message it transmits, how they sound different, how they're fiercely original.. I recommend this album along with all the other Le Tigre CDs, Bikini Kill, and riot grrrl punk you can find in this site or any record store.
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