Album Review: CSS – ‘La Liberación’

Posted: 29/08/2011 in Uncategorized

***As published on Entertainment.ie on August 15th 2011***

When CSS first exploded onto the scene with their debut album Cansei de Ser Sexy in the summer of 2006, it seemed that they could do no wrong. The Brazillian five-piece quickly became the darlings of music fans worldwide, with their unique brand of ‘new-rave’, quirky personalities and energetic live shows. Then, along came Donkey – a follow-up which was as much of a disappointement to fans as it was critically and commercially. Three years later, a rejuvenated CSS have returned with La Liberacion, in a bid to remind us why we fell for them in the first place.

‘La Liberacion’ gets off to a bit of a false start with I Love You – a simplistic CSS effort, which really doesn’t give the best first impression. Thankfully, it gets better. Lead single Hits Me Like a Rock, featuring Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie, is instantly likeable – merging electro with reggae certainly works for them. City Girl, a stomping anthem about about escaping small town mentality for big city life, stays true to the album’s title – and inspires the urge to dance, too. Red Alert is a highlight – a modest piano intro, before the impossibly catchy beat kicks in against a backdrop of almost tribal drumming – the song a hybrid of the best of CSS old and CSS new, and it works.

While the main criticisms for ‘Donkey’ were due to a lack of diversity on behalf of the band following on from their debut, such notions won’t trouble CSS this time around. The three year hiatus has served them well – the album offers a fresh and more mature sound, whilst remaining loyal to the roots of ‘Cansei de Ser Sexy’. Lovefoxxx’s conversational style of vocal performance is as endearing as ever – and lyrically, there’s more substance without sacrificing style. Sure, La Liberacion is not without filler (see Rhythm of the Rebels) – but the strong tracks make ‘La Liberacion’ worthwhile, and will be certain hits with live audiences as the CSS take their latest effort on tour – and it’s good to have them back.

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